PM's brother wins libel payout over expenses story

Gordon Brown’s brother today accepted a donation to the charity set up in memory of his niece over an “entirely false” newspaper claim that he had “pocketed” improper payments claimed by the Prime Minister on expenses.

Andrew Brown, external relations director at EDF Energy, sued over a story which appeared in Scotland on Sunday last month.

His solicitor, Chris Scott, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court that the prominent article, which also appeared online, was headed “Zero tolerance for scum who exploit expenses”.

It suggested that Andrew Brown had “pocketed” improper or corrupt payments claimed by his brother on Parliamentary expenses under the guise of payments to Andrew for “cleaning services”.

Scott said statements issued by Downing Street on May 8 and 9, before publication, refuted entirely these suggestions and made it clear that Andrew Brown was legitimately reimbursed for the Prime Minister’s share of the costs of a cleaner who worked at both his and the PM’s personal domestic properties.

“The libel contained in the article was therefore entirely false,” he said.

Scott added that the publication had caused damage to Andrew Brown’s personal and professional reputation, and he had suffered considerable embarrassment, hurt and distress.

He said the newspaper’s publisher, The Scotsman Publications Ltd, had accepted that it should not have published the article and had already published an apology. It has agreed to reimburse Andrew Brown for his legal costs and to make a donation to the Jennifer Brown Research Fund.

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