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'Brown on pills' blogger admits he has no proof

By Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Updated on 28 September 2009

The man whose blog carried allegations that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was taking anti-depressants has told Channel 4 News he has no proof to support the story.

Screenshot of John Ward website

The author of the Not Born Yesterday blog, John Ward, told Krishnan Guru-Murthy in a interview, he wrote the story in early September after meeting a very senior civil servant at a social gathering.
 
The source gave Mr Ward a verbal list of foods the prime minister was allegedly unable to eat. Mr Ward said that as an occasional depressive himself in the past, he recognised the contraindications to be those of an anti-depressant of the MAOI type.

Mr Ward said:

"I broke the story on my website at the beginning of September. The fact of the matter is I still have no more proof, and I stress proof, than anyone else that Gordon Brown is actually taking anti-depressants.

"All I can say is that I was given a verbal list of foods he allegedly cannot have by a very senior civil servant at a social gathering. And as an occasional depressive myself in the past I recognised the contraindications immediately from many years ago to be those of an anti-depressant of the MAOI type that I have taken."
 
Mr Brown was asked yesterday by Andrew Marr on the BBC whether he used "painkillers or pills" to help him get through. Mr Brown said no, adding "I think this is the sort of questioning which is all too often entering the lexicon of British politics."  
 
Lord Mandelson subsequently criticised the level of personal intrusiveness in the interview.

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