Brown was ‘speechless with anger’ over emails

Author: By Rosa Silverman and Margaret Davis, Press Association

The aide quit No 10 in April when it emerged that he had sent emails making
unfounded personal allegations about Conservatives, including party leader
David Cameron, shadow chancellor George Osborne and his wife Frances and
backbench MP Nadine Dorries.

In an interview broadcast on Victoria Derbyshire’s show on BBC Radio 5 Live,
Mr McBride said: “When I spoke to Gordon quite early that morning he was
like anyone else – the first thing he wanted to know was ‘Is this true? What
have you said in these emails?’

“So I had to tell him the contents of the emails and it was one of the hardest
things I’ve ever had to do.

“His reaction, as he said himself, he was, I think, probably so angry and
mortified that he couldn’t really speak, at least initially, about what I’d
actually done.

“And that’s characteristic of Gordon, despite the myths that go around about
him losing his temper. I think when he’s genuinely angry he can be sort of
just very deadly silent. And that was the reaction I got.

“After that we then moved on to the process of me resigning.”

Former civil servant Mr McBride emailed Labour activists about unfounded smear
stories which could be spread on the internet.

The Prime Minister later said he accepted full responsibility.

Mr McBride said Mr Brown was “incredibly let down” by what he had done and
quizzed him to find out whether anyone else knew about the messages and
whether any Government computers had been used.

He said: “Everything about Gordon Brown in the years that I’ve been working
for him, the sort of words I associate with him, integrity, and having
incredibly strong principles, and also just an incredibly strong sense of
discipline. Everything about these emails offended all those principles he’s
got, offended his sense of discipline.”

But Mr McBride blamed journalists for releasing details of the emails
themselves.

He said: “The one thing I can’t apologise for, because it wasn’t my
responsibility, is putting these stories into the public domain.”

The former Number 10 adviser is hoping to resume his career in the Civil
Service, and said he thinks there is “all to play for” in the next General
Election.

He said: “Momentum and the political sands can shift incredibly quickly and I
think, from that point of view, I wouldn’t rule out anything happening over
the next year, no matter what the polls say at the moment.

“I would just say it looks to me like one of those elections where it’s all to
play for.”

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