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At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, one of the pre-prepared quotes Gordon Brown threw at the Opposition was from Tory MP and party deputy chairman, John Maples, who had said in the Commons on Monday:

“The recession has to take its course… bad debts have to be
written off, bad investments have to be written off and people and
businesses need to repair their balance sheets. The Prime
Minister knows that, even if some of his Back Benchers do not. If that
does not happen, there will not be a solid base for recovery.”

Paul Waugh of the Evening Standard has picked up on the fact that Maples took the free-for-all opportunity that is Business Questions earlier today to apologise for the remarks.

Here’s what he told the Commons:

"I would personally like to explain and apologise for a phrase I used on
Monday, which was that the recession must take its course. I realise
that may have caused offence to people who are the victims of the
recession. I regret that. What I meant, and what I believe, is that the
economy cannot recover until levels of private debt have been reduced.
I do not believe, and I did not meant to convey the impression, that
the government should not help victims of the recession. I fully
support borrowing to do that."

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