Gordon Brown mocked for “ex-politician” gaffe

Gordon Brown has come under pressure following his comments. Picture: Jane Barlow
Gordon Brown has come under pressure following his comments. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Gordon Brown was mocked by MPs today in the House of Commons after footage emerged of the former premier describing himself as an “ex-politician” despite still being an MP.

The SNP’s Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) won laughs around the Commons as he questioned whether it was possible to be both an MP and an ex-politician.

The Labour former prime minister, who represents Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, made the comment as he took part in an education summit in the Gulf state of Qatar.

Taking part in a panel discussion, Mr Brown was asked his views “as a politician”, at which point he interjected “ex-politician”. He was reminded by the host - BBC presenter Mishal Husain - that he was still an MP, which he acknowledged.

Speaking at the weekly business statement today, Mr Wishart said: “Can we have a debate about the membership of this House, because we know have the incredible spectacle of the former prime minister, the Right Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, describing himself as an ‘ex-politician’.

“Do you know how you can be an MP and be an ex-politician at the same time?”

Commons Leader Andrew Lansley replied: “You will understand I can’t account for the views of the former prime minister.

“But, as far as I’m concerned... politician is an interesting description. We are, as MPs, we are all here with the responsibility to represent our constituents both in the constituency and, in my view, here at Westminster.”

Since quitting as prime minister after the 2010 general election, Mr Brown has appeared in the Commons to speak only six times - three times about Dalgety Bay in his constituency, once in relation to Remploy in Fife, once in a debate on phone hacking, and once to speak about Britain’s new aircraft carriers.

He most recently voted in the Commons on October 29, in three divisions on the Pensions Bill. Statistics produced by the TheyWorkForYou.com website show Mr Brown has taken part in only 13.25% of votes in the current Parliament, which is said it well below average among all MPs.