Agency chiefs say Gordon Brown bullying allegations story will not affect polls

Agency bosses have denied the public will be swayed by this weekend's coverage of bullying at Downing Street.

Bullying allegations: Gordon Brown
Bullying allegations: Gordon Brown

Mandate CEO Sacha Deshmukh said the public will react to the news ‘relatively calmly'.

‘I think the bigger shift in the polls is being driven by increased scrutiny of Conservative policy with the result that some natural Labour voters are being driven back home,' said Deshmukh. ‘I think it is unlikely this will be affected by a weekend storm.'

The story emerged after the founder of the National Bullying Helpline revealed the charity had received ‘three or four' calls in the past 18 months from those working for the Prime Minister.

Christine Pratt said she spoke out in anger at government denials of staff mistreatment in Number 10.

Wolfstar co-founder Stuart Bruce added: 'The situation is changing so rapidly it's hard to predict what the effects will be. Gordon Brown is like marmite and I think it's unlikely this story will change many people's views. They already either like Brown or really dislike him. The intervention of the National Bullying Helpline yesterday could even tip the scales back in Labour's favour as at the moment it does appear to be an own goal by the Tories making their spin and dirty tricks the story rather than the original allegations.'

The story has made the front pages of five of the national papers this morning. The Sun nicknamed Brown ‘The Prime Monster', while The Guardian said pressure was mounting for an inquiry into claims Brown abused staff.

The BBC has reported this morning that Labour has gone on the offensive. The Prime Minister's Parliamentary aide has called for evidence of the calls from the helpline.

Labour MP Anne Snelgrove, who is the Prime Minister's Parliamentary private secretary, said the charity ‘needs to demonstrate that these questions really have come from staff at Number 10'.

 

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