Key Brown Aide Quits Amid 'Sex Smear Scandal'
Adviser planned to slander top rivals' wives on gossip site
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2009 5:03 PM CDT
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks at the G20 summit on April 2, 2009 in London. Mr Brown has announced a raft of measures, agreed by world leaders, to tackle the global financial crisis.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A senior adviser to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has resigned after word leaked of a plan to smear opponents with sex rumors on a gossip website, the Guardian reports. In email exchanges with a blogger, Damian McBride discussed targets for the project, including the wives of top Conservatives. One British official accused Downing Street of descending “into the gutter.”

Brown has tried to distance himself from the scandal as Downing Street called the emails "juvenile and inappropriate." But details of the plan, called Red Rag, have touched off Conservative fury. “I wonder how Gordon Brown would feel if a Conservative Central Office employee sent emails with slanderous 100% lies about Sarah Brown?” said one Tory. "I am completely incensed."