Reporter 'pushed aside' during Gordon Brown visit

Welwyn & Hatfield Times reporter Ben Griffiths has claimed that he was pushed against a wall by a security officer while trying to quiz Prime Minister in waiting Gordon Brown over local housing.

Brown was attending a meet-and-greet event at Knebworth House, where he launched his Labour Party leadership campaign.

The Times had asked for an official slot with Brown to talk about controversial plans to build tens of thousands of houses on green belt land, but was told there would not be enough time.

Griffiths decided to leave the media pack and follow Brown when the scuffle occurred.

He wrote: ‘There is no doubt that Gordon Brown has some powerful backing. However, I found out that he and his campaign team may have more than just political punch.

“On asking him a question about our ‘No Way to 10k’ campaign, I was completely ignored by Mr Brown as he hurried his way back to his chauffeur-driven car… The Scotsman did not flinch as he marched towards his car.

‘Instead, a gigantic bouncer answered for him. The colossus palmed me away with disdain, knocking me into a nearby wall.”

Brown’s office has since denied the security man in question was directly associated with his entourage and is making enquiries into the incident.

Editor Terry Mitchinson said: ‘They said there wasn’t time for a slot so Ben, using his initiative, left the other media people behind, when he was pushed to one side.

“It would appear it wasn’t one of his official party, but he was obviously involved. Ben did absolutely what he should.’

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