Gordon’s bigot gaffe could seal poll outcome for Labour

April 29th, 2010 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown London, April 29 (IANS) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s chance encounter with a 65-year-old widow, who he called a “bigoted woman”, could seal the outcome of the general elections for Labour as “the party has lost not just hers, but potentially thousands of others who will listen to what she said”.
The incident came on the eve of the final televised leaders’ debate and some cabinet ministers are concerned that the gaffe had fatally undermined Labour’s campaign.

Brown was visiting Rochdale when Gillian Duffy called out to him. As part of the new “real voters” strategy, she was ushered by an aide to speak directly to him.

After their discussion was over, Brown who was still wearing a microphone recorded him when he turned to his aide Justin Forsyth, and said: “That was a disaster.”

He was then asked what Duffy had said.

Brown said: “Everything, she was just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to be Labour.”

Gillian Duffy’s chance encounter with Brown could seal the outcome of the general election, The Telegraph reported.

Millions of voters who held the same view as Duffy’s on immigration, policing, education and the economy would feel slighted by Brown’s remarks, feared prime ministerial aides.

“To sustain its share of the vote and maximise the number of MPs it returns, Labour needs the votes of millions of traditional supporters like Mrs Duffy.

“The party has lost not just hers, but potentially thousands of others who will listen to what she said and find that they agree. Does Brown think they are all bigots too?” Lance Price, a former Downing Street adviser under Tony Blair, was quoted as saying.

Following the row, Brown called up Duffy to apologise and then went to her house to make another apology.

“I am mortified by what has happened. I have given her my sincere apologies,” Brown was quoted as saying.

Gillian told The Sun: “It’s awful the prime minister is going around talking to the electorate and then saying I’m a bigot when I’m not. It’s shocking what happened.

I’m not voting for him after what he called me. I’m very disappointed, it’s very upsetting.”

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