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'Smeargate' aide McBride will not receive severance pay

Damian McBride, the Brown aide at the centre of the "smeargate" affair, will not receive a pay-off, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "He will not receive any severance pay because he has resigned." Special advisers like Mr McBride, who was on a six-figure salary, are normally entitled to a pay-off worth three months' pay. The spokesman told journalists that Gordon Brown was "furious" when he heard that Mr McBride had discussed plans to smear senior Conservatives by setting up a website called Red Rag.

He added: "There is a huge amount of frustration in Downing Street and in Government that the way this story has panned out has meant that it's made it more difficult for the Government to explain the action it is taking to deal with the big issues facing the country at this time. We had the G20 meeting just a few weeks ago, we have an important Budget coming up next week and that is the focus of the Prime Minister's attention."

Ed Miliband, the Climate Change Secretary and a former Brown aide, insisted the Prime Minister took "swift and decisive" action as soon as he knew the content of the emails sent between Mr McBride and Derek Draper, a Labour adviser who set up the LabourList website.

However, critics pointed out that Downing Street aides initially tried to safeguard Mr McBride's position by dismissing the emails as "juvenile". He resigned on Saturday after Labour MPs began to join the criticism of his actions.

Source: Independent

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