UK Politics

Brown the Bully

The much trailed Rawnsley allegations of bullying by Brown have hit the media this weekend:

When Wood tried to brief him on which of the ambassadors he should speak to, Brown blew up in a staggering rage. “Why have I got to meet these fucking people?” he yelled. “Why are you making me meet these fucking people? I don’t want to meet these fucking people!” Brown roughly shoved his adviser aside. He stormed into the room, leaving behind a shaken and shocked Wood. Several of Brown’s senior staff collectively decided they weren’t going to put up with this sort of conduct and told the Prime Minister to his face that he couldn’t go on behaving so badly.

Sir Gus O’Donnell became “very worried” about Brown’s treatment of staff at Number 10. If it led to a formal complaint against the Prime Minister that would be both unprecedented and disastrous. The Cabinet Secretary tried to calm down frightened duty clerks, badly treated phone operators and other bruised staff by telling them “don’t take it personally”. O’Donnell eventually felt compelled to directly confront the Prime Minister and gave him a stern “pep talk” about his conduct towards the staff. “This is no way to get things done,” he told Brown and warned him that he had to moderate his behaviour.

And as well as civil servants, it’s worth remembering what happens when journalists cross Brown. However, for what it is worth, one story circulating today, concerning a supposed anti-bullying charity who alleged “three or four” calls had been made to them in recent years by Brown’s staff, has more to it than meets the eye – with links to the Tory party.