Book depicts British prime minister as angry, abusive

Associated Press / February 22, 2010

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LONDON - Prime Minister Gordon Brown is portrayed in a new book as an angry and abusive man whose rages were so intense the country’s top bureaucrat had to intervene to comfort Brown’s distressed staff.

Excerpts of “The End of the Party’’ by Andrew Rawnsley of The Observer, appeared yesterday in the newspaper. Brown and his associates vigorously contested The description.

In one passage, the book describes Brown as furious when a journalist identified similarities between an address he gave at Labor’s 2007 conference and speeches given by Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

Bob Shrum, who worked for both before becoming a speechwriter for Brown, was left shaking by an expletive-laden outburst from the prime minister, according to Rawnsley.

In another passage, the author says Brown yanked a secretary from her chair when she typed too slowly and flew into rages so regularly that a nearby chair was dotted with marks from where he stabbed it with a pen.

Rawnsley said his work was based on thousands of interviews with hundreds of people both inside and out of government over the years.

In an interview with The Independent yesterday, Brown seemed particularly upset at rumors that the published extracts might include allegations that he hit members of his staff. They didn’t, although there were references to alleged incidents in which the prime minister grabbed an aide by the lapels or manhandled a senior adviser.

“It is simply a lie to say I’ve hit anybody in my life,’’ Brown told the paper.