James Forsyth

Sorry Prime Minister

Sorry Prime Minister
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There are few things that Brown puts before political advantage but his pride is clearly one of them. How else to explain his refusal to apologise for Damian McBride’s behaviour? As Jonathan Isaby blogged the other day, a sorry from Brown is a pre-requisite for Labour being able to begin to move on from this whole affair. Bagehot puts it well on his blog:

“the fixation with apologies is more than just a bit of puerile Brown-baiting. The game only works because Mr Brown never plays. He obviously thinks that an apology is an admission of weakness. But an inability to apologise or admit mistakes is a bigger weakness, especially in someone who leads a government that has been in office for 12 years and finds itself in dire need of new policies and exceptional patience from voters. The apology game is not just a cruel lark: it goes to the heart of the re-emerging question of whether Mr Brown is the right man to lead Labour into the election.”

Brown needs to apologise before Parliament returns. The last thing he wants is his Budget covered through the prism of Brown’s failure to apologise when asked to by Cameron at the PMQs that precedes it.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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