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Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 08:43 UK

Brown 'very much an unspun politician'

The Home Secretary Alan Johnson has defended Gordon Brown in the wake of his Rochdale gaffe.

He explained that the Prime Minister was under a great deal of pressure when a microphone caught him describing a Rochdale voter, Gillian Duffy, as "a bigoted woman".

"Mrs Duffy isn't a bigot, Gordon Brown isn't a monster and immigration isn't a no-go area," Mr Johnson told Today presenter Jim Naughtie.

"He's under a great deal of pressure, got into the car and said things he shouldn't have said. There's not a single one of us, if we had a microphone pinned to our lapel, that wouldn't regret some of the things we said."

Mr Johnson added: "No-one can suggest this wasn't damaging. You have to look at how Gordon responds. I think Gordon has dealt with that properly. He's very much an un-spun politician."

His comments came as the leaders of the three main parties prepare for tonight's third prime ministerial debate, which you can follow on BBC One, Radio 4 and BBC News Online from 8.30 tonight.

To get the latest election news from Radio 4, subscribe to our RSS feed .

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