Premier likened to 'belligerent teenager'

THE bullying saga embroiling Gordon Brown has continued with allegations he shoved aside a senior Number 10 aide and swore at Tony Blair like a "belligerent teenager".

Stewart Wood, an Oxford don and senior foreign policy adviser to the Prime Minister, described in a tape-recorded interview how he was pushed by Mr Brown before a meeting with EU ambassadors.

A transcript from the interview was disclosed by a Sunday newspaper yesterday as a rival newspaper published claims Mr Brown exploded with rage when Mr Blair backtracked on a pledge to stand down as prime minister.

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During the interview, recorded by Mr Brown's biographer, Mr Wood said that Number 10 staff would apologise for the way the premier behaved, saying: "Oh that's just Gordon."

A version of the "shoving" incident, which Mr Brown has denied, was recounted last week in a new book by the political journalist Andrew Rawnsley.

A second extract from the book, published yesterday, quotes a member of Mr Blair's "inner circle" who claims Mr Brown "lost it" during a meeting at Number 10 in the summer of 2004.

Mr Brown's closest Cabinet ally, Children's Secretary Ed Balls, defended him in response to the latest disclosures.

He said: "I have worked for him for 20 years. I have seen the drive, I've seen the toughness, I've seen the frustration. I have never seen him hit or shove anybody."