Sky News claimed to be first with one of the biggest news stories of the general campaign so far yesterday when it was the news outlet to broadcast Gordon Brown’s unguarded comments about voter Gillian Duffy, following a walkabout in Rochdale.
According to Sky News, producer Tami Hoffman was watching footage of the walkabout yesterday lunchtime at the Sky News Centre in West London when she “noticed a forced joviality in Brown’s exchange with pensioner Gillian Duffy”.
This prompted her to more closely examine the audio and pick up Brown describing Duffy as a ‘bigoted woman’as he was driven away.
Brown was wearing still wearing a wireless audio mic for the benefit of broadcast journalists following his walkabout.
Sky News claimed a second scoop when political correspondent Niall Patterson invited Duffy to listen to Brown’s comments at its satellite truck.
Her reaction when she hears the word bigot used (pictured) is clear to see. Walking off she said: “I’m disgustedâ€¦.I don’t think I will vote, I don’t think I’ll vote now. It’s a postal vote and I don’t have to send it in. He has just absolutely, well; he has shot me down completely. It is very upsetting, that.”
Gordon Brown’s comments in the car:
Gordon Brown: That was a disasterâ€¦
Aide: What did she say?
Gordon Brown: Well, just…You should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that?
Aide: I don’t know, I didn’t see her.
Gordon Brown: It was Sue I think…It’s just ridiculous.
Aide: They’re pictures, I’m not sure they’ll go with that one.
Gordon Brown: They’ll go with it.
Aide: What did she say?
Gordon Brown: Oh, everything, she’s just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to vote Labour. I mean it is just ridiculous.
Interview highlights: Gillian Duffy’s reaction after listening to a recording of Gordon Brown’s comments in the Sky News satellite truck:
Gillian Duffy: I’m disgusted.
Sky News Political Correspondent Niall Patterson: Now you said to me before that you are a Labour supporter, what has this done toâ€¦
Gillian Duffy: I don’t think I will vote, I don’t think I’ll vote now. It’s a postal vote and I don’t have to send it in. He has just absolutely, well; he has shot me down completely. It is very upsetting, that.
Niall Patterson: I spoke to you immediately after the exchange and you seemed happy with the answers that he gave you.
Gillian Duffy: What did I say to be bigoted there, what was bigoted in that that I said? I just asked about national debt.