Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

'Bigot' woman opens Labour office

Gillian Duffy (right) opens the new office of Labour MP Simon Danczuk (left) in Rochdale

The grandmother at the centre of Gordon Brown's "bigotgate" election disaster has made another foray into politics - in support of his party.

Gillian Duffy, who the former Prime Minister branded a "bigoted woman" came this time not to bury Labour but to praise them.

She was guest of honour at the official opening of the Rochdale constituency office of the Lancashire town's new MP Simon Danczuk - the victorious Labour candidate.

The plain-speaking life-long Labour voter was credited with being a major, if inadvertent, reason for the downfall of Mr Brown.

Mrs Duffy had only popped to the shops for a loaf of bread when she came across the PM, tackled him on immigration - and moments later he forgot to turn off his microphone.

Amongst a media frenzy, a crestfallen Mr Brown was shown, head in hands, as the gaffe was repeated to him on a radio show.

Within hours the "mortified" PM made a damage-limitation personal apology back at her pebble-dashed mid-terrace home - accompanied by the world's media.

Mrs Duffy shared a finger buffet and drinks with a smattering of local Labour supporters as guest of honour at the official opening.

The 66-year-old said: "I never wanted to hurt the Labour Party at all. I wanted them to get in at the last election.

"I felt very sorry for Gordon Brown, because he had everything to lose. He's been in politics a very, very long time, it's his life."

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