22 Feb 2010

British PM denies claims he abused staff

6:33 am on 22 February 2010

British prime minister, Gordon Brown, has denied allegations that he mistreated his staff after taking office in 2007.

The claims are made in a book by political commentator Andrew Rawnsley, extracts of which have appeared in the Observer newspaper in Britain.

In the newspaper there are details of incidents where it is alleged Mr Brown grabbed staff by the lapels, shoved them aside and shouted at them.

Earlier reports had suggested the prime minister would be accused of hitting staff, but no such allegation was made in the Observer, the BBC said.

Mr Brown told Channel 4 News things were sometimes said "in the heat of the moment", but added: "I have never hit anybody in my life."

Mr Brown said that he had not shoved anyone, and went on: "Of course you do get angry, mostly with yourself. But I'm very strong-willed, I'm very determined, and any allegations that have been made about hitting people or anything are completely untrue."

The allegations come in the run-up to a general election, which is expected in May.