Washington, Sept.11 : Republican presidential nominee John McCain has criticized British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for endorsing Barack Obama in a magazine article. According to The Telegraph, the McCain Campaign has questioned Brown's lavish praise of Obama's economic policies.
The paper predicts that this endorsement could open a serious rift between the Republicans and the British Government, should the former enter the White House after November 4, 2008.
According to the article, Brown's endorsement was tied to a specific policy that Obama had championed, a Foreclosure Prevention Fund, but sometime late last month he seems to have...changed his position." The incident has caused alarm within Downing Street and the British Embassy in Washington. The Embassy is understood to have been in communication with McCain's aides, who have officially complained, to stress that the Prime Minister was not endorsing either candidate.
Brown said yesterday that he had "great admiration" for both senators and was not interfering in the election. Downing Street aides refused to reveal whether Brown had telephoned McCain to apologise.
Senior sources claimed that a junior Labour official wrote the article and that Brown may not have checked it. They also claimed that his private may not have cleared it.
Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "It now seems that Gordon Brown's comments will not only have annoyed Republicans but also lent support to a policy the Democrats have dropped. So the Prime Minister is not only out of order he is already out of date. He still needs to clarify whether this intervention was a blunder by him and his officials or a deliberate and ill-advised attempt to influence American voters."
Chris Grayling, another shadow Cabinet minister, added: "What we are seeing in Government at the moment is a 'pass the buck' culture emerging. Gordon Brown and ministers won't take the responsibility for anything."