Gordon Brown Forced to Apologize to Woman He Described as 'Bigoted'

According to Brown, Duffy understood that there was a misunderstanding and has accepted his apology.

Duffy is, for now, declining to comment after her meeting with the prime minister. The media is making much of whether she has accepted Brown's apology and if she will now vote Labour as she has done for previous elections.

Not only has this incident diverted the media attention away from the Liberal Party leader Nick Clegg, who has so far been this election's "media darling", but will also provide ammunition for Brown's two rival parties.

"I think Gordon Brown has apologized. Quite right, too, because if you are answering peoples' questions, you have got to answer those questions with a sense of respect, whatever you think of them, not insult them." Clegg told Sky News.

David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader has yet to comment but his number two, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, said "That's the thing about general elections, they do reveal the truth about people."

All three leaders are due to appear in the final television debate this Thursday before the May 6 election.

Opinion polls largely show the Conservative party in the lead, the Liberal Democrats in second place and Brown's Labour Party in third place.

Gordon Brown's "Bigotgate" Spreads Across Web

Hoggart played down the political ramifications of the incident, quoting previous public stumbles by politicians that have in fact had little bearing on the polls.

Some commentators even raised the possibility the episode could garner sympathy and support for Brown.

The bumble was soon all over the web, "Gordon Brown" and "bigoted woman" becoming hot topics on-line. On Twitter the group "bigotgate" was bandying comments back and forward.

Opinion was divided as to whether Brown's comments were being blown out of proportion, or if this behaviour has truely damaged his campaign.

"He said a woman was a bigot? Why is this awful??" one tweet by ntraynor86 asked.

"Watched #bigotgate on the news. It looks very bad. The old dear who dared to voice her opinion and the imperious PM who attacked her for it," jamesgibbon wrote.

"I still have no idea what Brown apologized for, what's wrong with calling a xenophobe a bigot?" another tweeter called gedrobinson asked.

But Gary O'Donoghue, BBC political correspondent, was certain of the damage Brown had caused.

"People often talk about political gaffes in terms of car crashes. But this is no car crash, this is a multi-lane, multi-vehicle pile-up of enormous proportion," he wrote on the BBC news website.

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