Brown denies hitting staff

2010-02-21 12:04

kalahari.com

London - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he has "never, never" hit anybody as his office dismissed media allegations of staff intimidation which have threatened his pre-election fight-back.

Brown admitted to a few solid tackles on the rugby pitch in his youth and throwing newspapers on the floor but said any anger was largely directed at himself, as he geared up for a general election expected in May.

"If I get angry I get angry with myself," the prime minister told Channel 4 television. "I throw the newspapers on the floor or something like that.

"Let me just say, absolutely clearly, so that there is no misunderstanding about that: I have never, never hit anybody in my life."

Book

The Observer newspaper published extracts from a book by columnist Andrew Rawnsley, which contained allegations about Brown's conduct in his 10 Downing Street office.

It alleged there had been a string of incidents, such as shouting and swearing at colleagues and thumping car seats, which left had staff shaken.

The newspaper said that "during one rage, while in his prime ministerial car, Brown clenched his fist in fury after being told some unwelcome news and then thumped the back of the passenger seat."

It added that the protection officer in the seat "flinched with shock" and "the aide sitting next to Brown... cowered because he feared 'that the prime minister was about to hit him in the face'," The Observer added, quoting from an extract.

According to the book, Britain's top civil servant, Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell, told Brown to change his behaviour after reports that his fiery outbursts had frightened staff.

He reportedly told Brown: "this is no way to get things done."

O'Donnell felt the need "to calm down frightened duty clerks, badly-treated phone operators and other bruised staff" and tell them "don't take it personally", The Observer reported.

However, a spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said: "It is categorically not the case that the cabinet secretary asked for an investigation of the PM's treatment of Number 10 staff."

The prime minister's official spokesperson said: "These malicious allegations are totally without foundation and have never been put to Number 10."

Upcoming elections

The Sunday Times newspaper reported that a recent Brown television appearance, in which he showed his softer side, had helped cut the polls lead built up by the opposition Conservative Party.

A YouGov survey for the broadsheet put the Conservative lead at six percent, its lowest for more than a year and small enough to deny the centre-right party an overall majority.

Labour's rating was up two points on last month to 33%, with the Conservatives down one at 39%. The Liberal Democrats were down one at 17%.

Elsewhere, former Conservative prime minister John Major made a rare public attack, accusing Brown's government of having "failed spectacularly".

Writing in The Mail on Sunday newspaper, he said Labour inherited "the most stable and competitive economy in Europe" in 1997 but "over 13 wasted years, our finances have been squandered."

On Saturday, Brown launched "Operation Fightback", saying while he was "not perfect", voters should think twice before ousting him.

Labour announced its campaign slogan would be "A Future Fair For All".

Although official campaigning has not yet started, British politics has taken on an increasingly electioneering tone since the start of the year.

Read more on:    gordon brown  |  britain
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
Traffic & Train Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.