Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

David Cameron blames Mumsnet webchat delays on laptop

David Cameron
Mr Cameron has taken part in Mumsnet chats before

David Cameron has blamed laptop trouble after coming under fire during a live webchat on the Mumsnet website.

The Tory leader posted about 16 answers during the hour-long chat but was criticised for taking too long.

At one point he wrote: "Aagh I am now on Justine's laptop as mine went bust. IT boffin next to me is trying to retrieve my last few answers....."

In Gordon Brown's live chat last month he found himself accused of avoiding questions about his favourite biscuit.

Mr Brown managed about 30 answers in his hour-long session when he visited the Mumsnet offices.

'Too slow'

But Mr Cameron worked from Conservative Party HQ, apparently typing out the answers himself on his own laptop, which appears to have failed him.

Several posters criticised the speed of his response - one posted "Gordon Brown was much faster" while another added "too slow" although others urged them to "give him a break".

A spokeswoman for Mr Cameron confirmed that technical problems prevented him from answering many of the questions.

Biscuit-gate was not revisited
Carrie Longton

She said responses to many of the issues raised would be posted on the website later.

One of Mumsnet's founders, Carrie Longton, told the BBC: "There were lots of technical issues actually, there was a point he was answering questions and we didn't realise they weren't actually appearing on the screen.

"So we didn't get through quite as much as we had hoped and he has promised to come back and fill in some of the gaps."

During the discussion, Mr Cameron did answer questions on breastfeeding, banks and bonuses, tax credits expenses and nappies for disabled children. And he said he liked oatcakes - avoiding a re-run of Mr Brown's "biscuit-gate".

He also said that while the BBC was "a vital part of broadcasting" it had also got "very overextended and the licence fee is high".

But he admitted to being a fan of the BBC political comedy series The Thick Of It, writing: "V funny… but only true about the other lot (not)".

It was not Mr Cameron's first time taking part in a Mumsnet chat - the website has hosted several live events with politicians including ministers Harriet Harman and Ed Balls and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

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