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If allowing election fever to get out of control was mistake numero uno, giving the exclusive to Andrew Marr was Gordon Brown’s second big mistake.

Sky and ITN are furious and that’s reflected in their coverage.

But Mr Brown doesn’t appear to have endeared himself to Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor either.

Here are some key lines from Nick Robinson’s report to Radio 4’s Six’o’clock news (not verbatim – although close – unless in quotation marks):

"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear", the ability to choose the timing of an election is one of the strongest weapons in a Prime Minister’s armory and somehow Gordon Brown has contrived to turn the weapon upon himself – "wounding both his reputation and the morale of his party".

…Let’s be clear, speculation was not the right word to describe what had happened.  The Prime Minister’s key allies were sanctioned to plan for an election, to talk about it publicly and official government business was moved.  "These are facts – not mere Westminster gossip".

…"This will be a huge morale boost to the Tories" who, in truth, were putting on a brave face when they called on Mr Brown to bring it on…

"For now though it is enough to say that not since Jim Callaghan’s joke about waiting at the church has a Prime Minister caused himself so much political damage so unnecessarily."

8.35pm: CWO has recorded Adam Boulton’s unhappiness.

14 comments for: The Marr exclusive was Brown’s second big mistake

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