James Forsyth

Will there be a backlash against criticism of Brown?

Will there be a backlash against criticism of Brown?
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Gordon Brown badly needed Mrs Duffy to come out of her house after his 40 minute meeting with her and grant him public absolution and declare that she’s voting Labour after all. But she chose to stay firmly inside. There’s now no footage to replace that of the initial gaffe on the nightly news tonight.  

In his statement after his meeting with her, Brown said he had ‘simply misunderstood some of the words she had used.’ But it is hard to see how he could misunderstood what she said.  

Some are asking if there’ll be a backlash to the criticism of Brown as there was after the Jacqui Janes letter. I don’t think there will be. In the Jacqui Janes’ case, we were being asked to accept that the Prime Minister did not care about the families of dead soldiers — a big charge and one that even Mr Brown’s most ardent critics found hard to believe. This time, we are just being asked to deplore the arrogance of a politician who says one thing to a woman’s face and another behind their back, thinks that talking to voters is annoying and that even mentioning immigration is bigoted.