Peter Hoskin

Lost in the post | 14 April 2009

Lost in the post | 14 April 2009
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The letters that Gordon Brown sent to the victims of McBride's smears sound as clumsy as you'd expect.  Here's the Standard's report:

"[Brown's] handwritten letters expressing “great regret” to senior Tories smeared by aide Damian McBride were dismissed as insincere and inadequate — and unreadable.

One recipient, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who was falsely accused of a one-night stand with another MP, complained that she could not make out all the Prime Minister's words because they were scrawled in a thick black marker pen because of his poor eyesight.

Sources close to Mr Cameron said the Tory leader was not satisfied with his letter, which fell short of an apology and also irritated him by describing the suggestion that he might have had a sexual disease as an 'unsubstantiated claim' rather than as a downright lie." From Downing St's perspective, proper letters of apology could have taken some of the sting out of the situation, and prevented the story from recycling itself.  Instead, Brown has merely delivered more ammunition to be used against him.