London, July 4 : Even as the "peerage controversy" is snowballing into a major controversy in London, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told Keith Vaz, a parliamentarian and chairman of a parliamentary committee, that he never tried to bribe him in return of his crucial vote which saved his status as the Leader of the Labour party on June 12.
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, challenged Gordon Brown to confirm he was not bribed ahead of the vote on 42 days. Appearing alongside other committee chairman at their regular grilling of the Prime Minister, Vaz asked Brown about the Telegraph's revelation that he received a letter from Geoff Hoon, the Chief Whip, saying he hoped he would be "rewarded" for supporting the Government's anti-terror plans.
At the Westminster hearing Vaz asked Brown: "You only got your legislation through by nine votes. Is it the case that you authorised or offered any backbench Member of Parliament a peerage or a knighthood or honour, or even the Governorship of Bermuda in order to vote for your legislation?"
Brown replied: "Not at all. Nor do I recall sending any letters to anyone," reported The Telegraph.
Vaz then questioned whether any promises were made to members of the Democratic Unionist Party, who also unexpectedly supported the legislation, but did not ask the Prime Minister whether any other inducements were offered.
At the two-and-a-half-hour grilling, Mr Brown faced questions on issues ranging to the credit crunch to climate change and the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.