Two weeks ago I blogged about Stewart Wood, the Number Ten official Gordon Brown called a "c***". More details HERE
Now this is delicious. The Mail on Sunday
has a tape of Stewart Wood outlining just how abusive the Prime Minister can be.
In addition, I understand they have a fairly explosive story which might go some way to show why Geoff Hoon is standing down at the next election.
UPDATE 10.15pm: The full story is on the Mail website HERE
. Here are the key extracts...
Gordon Brown was accused of lying about his bullying behaviour last night after one of his closest aides revealed in a sensational tape-recording how the Prime Minister shoved him on the stairs inside No10.
In the tape, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, the official describes how he exclaimed ‘Bloody hell!’ and was left ‘shocked and upset’ when Mr Brown pushed him aside with a raised arm.
The adviser says Mr Brown’s staff have made excuses for his bullying behaviour for years. And, damagingly, he questions whether they had been right to do so, arguing a ‘core part’ of being Prime Minister is to treat people properly.
The comments were made by Mr Brown’s senior foreign policy adviser, Dr Stewart Wood, one of the most powerful officials in Whitehall. They directly contradict Mr Brown’s repeated denials that he bullied staff, following claims in a new book by political journalist Andrew Rawnsley.
Today, The Mail on Sunday produces explosive evidence of Mr Brown’s bullying. It comes in the form of a tape-recording of Dr Wood, a Labour-supporting Oxford don and friend of Mr Brown, who has been on the receiving end of the Prime Minister’s bullying.
In the taped conversation with pro-Labour journalist Suzie Mackenzie, Dr Wood denies he was actually hit in the clash on the Downing Street stairs. Mr Brown did ‘not quite’ throw a punch at him, he says.
But he confirms the Prime Minister pushed him and shouted ‘Get outta my way’ at him. He said the incident left him shocked.
The interview took place on January 14 over lunch in Westminster’s Cinnamon Club, a £50-a-head Indian restaurant a short walk from Downing Street that is popular with politicians. Ms Mackenzie asked Dr Wood: ‘Did Gordon ever punch you?’
Stewart Wood: ‘That’s interesting.’SM: ‘Someone told me that he hit you once and you were very cross.’
SW: ‘Did they tell you I ran in to the toilet crying? I didn’t by the way. I did say, “Bloody hell.” I was pretty shocked. I was standing at the top of the stairs at No10. There was a reception for EU ambassadors and I was waiting . . . to say these are the three people you need to speak to.
‘He was in a really bad mood. He walked up the stairs. And I leant forward and he went, “Outta my way!” And did that [Dr Wood makes a sweeping gesture with his arm] “Get outta my way!” Then he walked off.’
SM: ‘You were shocked?’
SW: ‘Yeah, yeah definitely. He’s never punched me. He did push me aside . . . I was slightly shocked. I stood there and went something like, “Christ Almighty!” . . . Gordon can be rude in a kind of routine way.’
Dr Wood, who is in his 40s, adds that Mr Brown is ‘routinely rude’. Moreover, Dr Wood suggests Mr Brown’s staff have put up with his tantrums for too long and that as Prime Minister, he has a duty to behave better.
‘I used to think, “Oh, that’s just Gordon,”’ said Dr Wood. ‘As a team we too often say, “That’s just Gordon.” We all try and apologise for it. But it is important. It has become more important since he’s become Prime Minister because how you deal, as an individual, with human beings is actually a core part of the job.’
The candid conversation came as part of Ms Mackenzie’s research for an authorised biography of the Prime Minister. Her book, Gordon Brown: A Portrait Of A Man is to be serialised in The Mail on Sunday later this year.
Listen to the tape recording HERE
“Outta my way!”
Oh FFS Iain, that is bullying is it?
This is really pathetic.
More fuel for the fire of course, but I was hoping for better :(
This is possibly the most earth shattering story in the history of British politics. Millions of voters will switch to conservative as a result.
What shall we call this one? Pushgate? Shovegate? Nudgegate?
The interview with the Mail on Sunday never happened. There is no such person as Stewart Wood. Stewart Wood is in breach of trust and is a Tory stooge. Tory party spin doctors are steering journalists towards someone whom they claim is Stewart Wood. Stewart Wood is a man with a grievance and is totally unrealiable. It is only because Gordon Brown is guided by a moral compass that he has not had Stewart Wood arrested. Gordon Brown has only one eye and so sometimes he bumps into people inadvertently - that is not bullying and it hurts Gordon (and Mandy) deepy if it is suggested that knocking people down flights of stairs is bullying. We know where you live....
If that is how Gordon treats his friends...
How long will that biography be authorised now, do you think?!
Dr Wood should have pushed the piece of shit down the stairs.
So Brown is shown to be a liar.
He went on national TV and lied to the public that he will soon be calling upon to ask that they re-elect the party that he leads.
The man that said he would not parade his family in public, prayed in aid the good name of his Father, when asked if he had ever shoved anyone.
He was prepared to demean his dead fathers good name for his own political benefit.
I cannot say OI am interested in listening to the recording - the whole sorry saga is too sickening.
The term 'bullying' and 'hit' need to be clarified a bit. Brown clearly has not assaulted anybody (though a teacher or policeman doing this on duty would probably be prosecuted) nor actively personally bullied an individual (though many in the PLP have been viscously undermined).
But his behaviour is crass and ignorant and totally unworthy and of course it hardly describes a rational man capable of making (I won't say 'sane') sensible decisions.
Oh and this story totally justifies Rawnsley and can only make ALL his revelations totally believable.
so we now have taped proof that the dear leader lied(as if anyone with a brain needed confirmation!).
i think we can discount brown resigning...so what is it to be?
1)a previously undiagnosed deafness has stricken the poor man....? so he didn't hear the question.....
2)C4 doctored the interview tape and brown was never asked the question?
3) dr wood goes for a walk in his namesake and his suicide note contains an apology for spreading such slurs about the great man?
4) brown just says 'yes i'm a liar...what are you going to do about it you f******* c****?'
5) bbc and sky both stick their fingers in their ears and go 'la la la la la la' until they run a story about david cameron lying about his change from the tuck shop in 1975?
Doesn't look like anyone else has picked this up yet, hopefully the BBC and Sky will in the morning. :D
Holy sh*t! Brown's own biographer - hand picked by Brown himself - is so disgusted that by him she has possibly ruined her own career by ratting him out.
Will this be the snowflake that starts the avalanche of revelations from other journalists?
Rawnsley is vindicated. Brown is damaged even more, and the election is only weeks away.
The News of the World article Brownfall is well worth a read!
Is this the best they can do?
The Conservatives are seriously going to have to be "whiter than white" when they take office: the plethora of comment and analysis on record from Tory bloggers in particular will come back to haunt them if not.
By the way, if Fatboy Nolan's censorship so repeatedly enrages you then why don't you refuse to go on his show? Or would you feel it punishment to deny us your sanctimonious drivel on the licence payer-funded, leftist BBC?
This is a remarkable moment, not because Brown roughly pushed an aide but because he has been so spectacularly caught out in a blatant, shameless lie. The fact that this takes place during an interview where he addresses the British people directly and puts his character on the line demonstrates the true measure of the man. A vicious bully and an outright liar.
The irony that this is revealed by one of his closest aides and his official biographer - both sympathetic to Labour - reminds me that it's not what others do to you but what you do yourself that loses elections.
Labour or Conservative, we all deserve better than this deeply flawed man.
Eh, don't really see how the tape "evidence" shows anything really.
Also in the MoS:
An attempt to portray Darling as a bully? Wonder who dug this one up.
It is inexcusably rude to behave that way but it's not bullying
Is this the Hoon story? It's about a fruity GMTV presenter being parachuted into his seat, but seems more to do with Blair!
"An aide to the former Prime Minister once confided to one of Ms De Piero's friends 'you do realise Tony fancies her?'.
Perhaps this is why she felt comfortable starting one interview with Mr Blair with the question: 'What are you doing today?'. On another occasion, she reportedly loaned him a bottle of factor 30 suncream.
Ms De Piero also spent the 2005 Election campaign attached to Mr Blair's entourage, writing at one stage: 'I glance at the newspaper to discover that "Tony wants a big one".
'It is of course a reference to the size of the Labour majority. Well what did you think it was about!' At another point, she reported that the former Prime Minister 'asks if I have had enough sleep. He clearly recognises the soft spots of a breakfast TV reporter'.
Their friendship continued after Mr Blair left office in 2007, with Ms De Piero joining him around the Middle East to film his work as a peace envoy."
I sat listening in slacked jawed amazement at Nolan's desperation trying to close down discussion about the details of the Mail on Sunday story.
I'm not sure which was the worst aspect of that unedifying episode: the normal BBC attempt to ameliorate any story bad for the government; the ham-fisted, even brazen, way Nolan went about it; or his personal rudeness to his guests.
I'm not normally one to make complaints to BBC, but this feels worth the effort. That was utterly shoddy, ill mannered and biased piece of radio.
No wonder you describe yourself as "fizzing".
It's dull stuff. Iain, you might have noted that, contrary to your assertion, Wood says on the tape that GB never called him a c***. Time to withdraw that, I think?
I'm sorry but the most disquieting thing about all this is the sad attempt of 'Labourites' to dismiss this as acceptable behaviour.
It will not do. You can focus on the amount of 'bullying' and argue what constitutes bullying (as if that makes his behaviour any better) but you seem to miss the point made by others.
This is not about the amount of bullying or whether he was pushed, shoved, sworn at or anything else.
This is about the deliberate lying with no conscience by the man who is the Prime Minister of this country.
You can huff and puff and claim that the Tories had better watch out - but when your man in charge is outed as a blatent liar then your credibility is shot to pieces.
My grandfather was a Labour man - but he was also an honourable man; something that you, like you leader, seems to believe is unimportant. Let me tell you, it is not.
This "Biffa" Brown theme does not appear to be helping the Tories in the polls overmuch
But the electorate in England now love their unelected Scotch Dictator according to 'Polls' right????.
Telling how McLabours lapdogs in the press and media are now blatantly swinging behind them with their bias, i wonder on what level they get their orders from McLabour?.
I tipped 6 months ago that it would be produced and manufactured that Broon and Mclabour would suddenly begin to 'gain' in the Polls 'each and every month' before the General election, also 'statistics' would show that unemployment would 'fall' and the economy' would 'improve' each month before the election, wow look at Broon and McLabour! what 'fighters!', we love our Superjock!.....come on Broon / McLabour......finish England off!.
Lets face it, we DESERVE it.
Stewart Wood is a very decent guy. But McKenzie's approach is very ununusual. In the Mail tape, it is clear the conversation with Wood is on background terms and for priva. Assuming McKenzie has not got Wood's permission to release it, isn't it very poor treatment of a source and a major lapse of journalistic ethics to splash it in a newspaper? I just can't see how her desire to attack Brown justifies her treatment of Wood in that respect, which involves a spectacular breach of trust.
(It also seems clear that Rawnsley put his allegations to Wood having got them from somebody else initially. I assume you accept Wood's account, ie that Brown pushed past him, and that he didn't call him what was alleged).
"Mackenzie: I haven’t got this on [the tape]. Oh, I have got this on.
Wood: Oh, that’s all right.
Mackenzie: Do you want it off?
Wood: No, I don’t mind.
Mackenzie: Are you sure?
Wood: No, that’s fine. That’s fine. This is just for you and me, but I don’t care if you keep it just for your notes and your private . . .
Mackenzie: OK. But if you can talk more freely with it off I don’t mind . . .
Wood: No, no, that’s fine".
Weel, I'm sure that those Labour luvvies Jimmy and Richard Bloggie will have no bones to pick over Charlie Whelan's list, will they?
Am I being bullied?
* Bullies may use terror tactics, open aggression, threats, shouting, abuse, and obscenities towards their target
-- Now that sounds very much like the accepted behaviour of Gordon Brown. So, yes, he's a bully. I think that "open aggression", "shouting" and "abuse" cover his behaviour of Dr Wood.
And not a Tory in sight.......
Now wait for Mandy and Co to rubbish the writer Susan Mackenzie.
They've had people up all night Googling for tit bits.
Wow! Barged past someone and said "Outta my way". Horrendous, eh? Brown is obviously Britain's Papa Doc.
Perhaps it is time to leave the bullygate investigation and explain the Conservative meltdown at the polls.
I give Dave 3 months as leader at the most.
...is that the same as twittering?
whatever, it's what this post is doing....
Lol this will INCREASE Labour's lead in the polls.
How to ensure a labour landslide - accuse Brown of being a demented bully.
This story is getting no traction whatsoever - it's all about the Tories losing the election.
You and your Labour friends are being hoist with your own petard ...again.
It's the NuLabour nanny state that has introduced all this work place legislation and non competitive, cotton wool wrapping rules to society.
Are you telling me you never believed in it yourselves it was just for us proles?
So yes having a temper tantrum and brushing aside a work colleague is a cast iron, nailed on certainty for a win in an industrial tribunal.
Yeah, yeah yeah.
Most who follow politics may share Minette Marrin's view, in today's ST, that Gordon is "a dangerous weirdo" - but opinion polls and personal experience suggest that the public at large either don't believe it or don't care.
The same may be said as to the attention to the background of candidates. An important matter within its context but not what will decide the general election.
The Conservative Party should be directing its attention to what really may influence voters; articulating simple and convincing policies on those matters which are of major concern to the electorate.
In this regard, even though speaking on such a sensitive topic as the Binyan Mohamed case (and admittedly an issue which will also not win the election), David Davis showed himself head and shoulders above the majority of the Shadow Cabinet in how to present and argue his case - and as for the contrast with Chris Grayling...
Forget it. The media, in particular have painted Brown as the victim here. I can't believe the polls, we actually Iain I can. Cameron and Osborne in particular are useless. Osborne gets beaten up on the BBC every time he shows up. Philip Hammond is not better. WE have the worst Government in modern history yet the Tories can't get more than a few point ahead.
The BBC (As I and many others predicted) have launched a viscous campaign of smear against the Tories attacking them across the whole network on a daily basis, in particular Radio 5 and Newsnight.
I see the Tories losing the election, the BBC has a head of steam up and the so called Tory press should stop beating up on Brown, it isn't working.
Of course a Labour Government will be totally undemocratic, it's small majority will only be obtained with the block Scottish vote and it will of course force through spending cuts in ENGLAND whilst Scotland will get an even bigger budget as a reward for voting Liebour again.
Cameron should have got rid of Osborne long ago, he's useless, Clarke would make a much better Chancellor, but it's too late now. The Tories are stuffed.
I hate to spoil a good story, but this article in no way backs up your headline that it "confirms bullying allegations". What it actually says is that Brown is rude and abrupt to colleagues, hardly the same thing.
Still, who am I to spoil a line that is increasingly backfiring on the Tories? I accept as a reader of these blogs that the facts scarcely play a role.
Again, I think commenters have missed the point. It is not Broon's temper that is the main problem, but that he is prepared to say a bare faced lie to deny it.
Broon made a public statement on Channel 4 that he has NEVER shoved an aide. A bare faced lie, how many other times has he lied to the country?
Why isn't this having any effect on the polls. Surely we're sold on the idea that he's a gross incompetent. I thought his "I'm a decent bloke" routine, "son of the manse," was all he had left.
What kind of a nation are we that we're happy to let this sociopath back into office?
Because (it's my party) the "Bullygate" saga does not press home on his incompetence, it focuses on his belligerence. This is a tactical error by Coulson et al, because many people admire this quality in leaders and think it a must-have. As with Prescott getting in a scrap before the last election, this is a plus.
Coulson would be well advised to stage a "fight opportunity" for Cameron, Hague or perhaps Pickles. They could for example be spat at in the street and lay one on someone. Result: 10 points instant lift!
@ Martin 12.23
"The BBC (As I and many others predicted) have launched a viscous campaign of smear against the Tories attacking them across the whole network on a daily basis, in particular Radio 5 and Newsnight."
That's not the way I see it.
The BBC's most prominent political commentators are Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson, both Tories and both never off the telly. Andrew Marr's treatment of Brown's bad eye and deafness was well below the belt, and the BBC has a firmly anti-war stance on Iraq and Afhanistan.
Anywa, even if it was truem, it would be justified. The Tories have sold their soul to Rupert Murdoch: in return for his support they have promised to serve up the BBC on a plate to the Murdoch emire.
If I was with the BBC I would not embrace the party that wants to destroy the corporation.
Common sense really, the people like the BBC, and they see the Tories marriage to Murdoch as a bad thing, another reason the polls are narrowing.
"Why isn't this having any effect on the polls."
Oh but it is.
The Nasty Party is back (as if it ever really went away) and guess what? The public still doesn't like it.
Since when did rudeness = bullying?
When the Tories serve up the BBC to Murdoch on his (somewhere unknown in the World) island, bearing it on a golden platter with their faces pressed to the floor - the only question is - will they confine themselves to muttering obedient prayers to the Royalty-hating Ozzie God, or will they also offer to scrub His Toenails? Will they add another Royal Taxbreak, or perhaps a Special Dispensation - the abolition of the Queen herself? For Lord Rupert has long wished for the latter and who better to carry it out than His Loyal Servants?
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