London, Sept 10 : Thanks to a "na¯ve mistake" by a junior Labour Party official, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has landed in a soup for apparently "backing" Democratic candidate Barack Obama ahead of the US presidential elections in November.
In an article written by the Labour official in Brown's name, heaps of praise have been showered on Obama, and the Democrats' policy of "generating the ideas to help people through more difficult times" has been hailed.
The article, however, doesn't mention anything about McCain or his proposed policies.
It is seen as breaking of a convention of not getting involved in foreign elections, reported The Telegraph.
The Prime Minister's office and the British Embassy in Washington were last night involved in an embarrassing behind-the-scenes operation to try and limit the fallout from the incident. They were alerted after the highly influential Drudge Report website picked up the story, sparking a flurry of comment and analysis from election watchers in the US, added the paper.
It quoted well-placed sources as saying that Brown may not have read the article written in his name by the "junior Labour official".
"It is clearly going to annoy the Republicans and is a naive mistake by a junior Labour person. The American Embassy is doing a lot of work to reassure the McCain campaign that this is not an endorsement of Obama," the British daily quoted an unnamed official as saying.
A statement issued by 10 Downing Street said that the Prime Minister "is not endorsing any candidate and never would. Presidential elections are a matter for the American people. The Prime Minister looks forward to working closely with whoever is elected."
The article written under the name of Brown, said: "Around the world, it is progressive politicians who are grappling with these challenges....In the electrifying US Presidential campaign, it is the Democrats who are generating the ideas to help people through more difficult times. To help prevent people from losing their home, Barack Obama has proposed a Foreclosure Prevention Fund to increase emergency pre-foreclosure counseling, and help families facing repossession."
Meanwhile, the Opposition party the Conservatives has seized it as an opportunity to push the Brown administration against the wall. William Hague, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "A responsible British Prime Minister needs to be ready to work with either Presidential candidate after the US election, and should neither take sides nor be seen to be taking sides.
Gordon Brown needs to make clear why he appeared to be favouring the Democrats in this article and to explain whether this was his deliberate intention or a careless mistake."