It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Gordon Brown has apologised in person to a grandmother after he was caught on microphone in an unguarded moment calling her "bigoted". The Prime Minister visited the home of 66-year-old Gillian Duffy who had earlier questioned him on the campaign trail in Rochdale. He entered the house at about 3.02pm and emerged more than 40 minutes later. On the doorstep, he told reporters he was a "penitent sinner" and had misunderstood the point Mrs Duffy had been making when they spoke. "I am mortified by what has happened. I have given her my sincere apologies," he said. "I misunderstood what she said. She has accepted that there was a misunderstanding and she has accepted my apology." Earlier today, he spent nearly five minutes answering Mrs Duffy's queries about policy and told her: "It's been very good to meet you." He smiled at the woman and then got into a waiting car. However, a microphone picked up his words to an aide as he drove away. Gordon Brown Gordon Brown speaks to the media outside Gillian Duffy's Rochdale home Mr Brown was caught saying: "That was a disaster. His aide asked: "What did she say?" Mr Brown replied: "Well, just...You should never have put me with that woman. "Whose idea was that?" The aide responded: "I don't know, I didn't see her. It was Sue I think..." Mr Brown went on: "It's just ridiculous." The aide said: "They're pictures, I'm not sure they'll go with that one." "They'll go with it," Mr Brown said. "What did she say," his aide asked. Mr Brown replied: "Oh, everything, she's just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to vote Labour." The worst thing about today is the hurt I caused to Mrs Duffy, the kind of person I came into politics to serve. Gordon Brown's email to Labour supporters The Prime Minister had been chatting to the woman about her pension credit, crime and education before the gaffe. She also questioned the Prime Minister about immigrants from eastern Europe and then congratulated him on his education policies in Rochdale as he walked away. Later, Sky's Niall Paterson played the mother of one a recording of the Prime Minister's comments, including his description of her as "bigoted". She said she was "very disappointed" and added that the PM owed her an apology. She told Sky News: "It was very upsetting. I am very upset. "He's an educated person, why is he coming up with words like that?" Brown Apologies For 'Bigoted' Comment Mr Brown has called Mrs Duffy and apologised for his comment. He returned to Rochdale to visit her at her house. "I have apologised to Mrs Duffy," he said. "I hope she accepts my apology." Mr Brown was played a recording of his words by BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine. As the Prime Minister listened, he put his head in his hands. "They have chosen to play my private conversation with the person who was in the car with me," he said. "I know these things can happen. I apologise profusely to the lady concerned. "I don't think she is that, I think it was just the view she expressed that I was worried about that I couldn't respond to." Later, Mr Brown wrote an email of apology to supporters in which he said: "The worst thing about today is the hurt I caused to Mrs Duffy, the kind of person I came into politics to serve." He continued: "I know how hard you all work to fight for me and the Labour Party, and to ensure we get our case over to the public. "So when the mistake I made today has so dominated the news, doubtless with some impact on your own campaigning activities, I want you to know I doubly appreciate the efforts you make." Pensioner Upset After PM's Gaffe His email added: "Many of you know me personally. You know I have strengths as well as weaknesses. We all do. You also know that sometimes we say and do things we regret. I profoundly regret what I said this morning." Harriet Harman told Randall and Boulton Unleashed she does not believe voters concerned about immigration are bigoted. "I think that there are issues to do with immigration and having a fair but firm immigration policy, there's also people's concerns about housing shortages and unemployment," she said. Mr Brown's apology was "sincerely felt", she added. Speaking on Sky News, the shadow chancellor George Osborne said: "We have found out the Prime Minister's internal thoughts and I think they speak for themselves. "The Prime Minister has a lot of explaining to do." Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg told Sky News it was important to treat people with respect on the trail. "I think everyone in every walk of life will mutter things underneath their breath which they would not want everyone to know about, but I think in an election campaign in particular, I get this every day, people will say 'I disagree with this and that.' "Some people get pretty tough," he continued. "You have got to give as good as you get but you have also got to treat the questions you receive with the respect they deserve."