Tories call for PM to apologise over “smear” emails

By staff

The Conservatives have called on prime minister Gordon Brown to personally apologise after one of his closest aides was forced to resign after sending emails about smearing senior Tories.

Special adviser Damian McBride stood down yesterday after emails he wrote intended for former spin doctor Derek Draper became public.

Mr McBride has apologised for his actions but opposition MPs are calling for the prime minister to also issue a personal apology for what happened.

In the emails, Mr McBride discussed with Mr Draper setting up a blog, called Red Rag, which would spread gossip about members of the Conservative party.

This morning, the News of the World and the Sunday Times have published the conversations which are said to include false allegations about David Cameron, George Osborne, and backbencher Nadine Dorries.

In the emails Mr McBride admits to using a bit of “poetic license” with the aim to “put the fear of God into Osborne”.

Tory shadow home secretary Chris Grayling called for an immediate inquiry into what had occurred and questioned whether Mr McBride was the only person in Downing Street who knew about the email chain.

Ms Dorries has also demanded an apology from Downing Street and said she is considering legal action against Mr McBride.