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Gordon Brown's 'Sunday Times' complaint rejected by PCC

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A complaint by Gordon Brown about a story in The Sunday Times has been rejected by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

The former prime minister objected to a story in the paper during December last year - headlined "Globe-Trotting Gordon Brown Loses His Voice" - which claimed that he had not spoken in parliament in more than a year as he had been travelling the world maintaining his international profile.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown leaving London’s 10 Downing Street

© Rex Features

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The complaint, brought by Charlie King, who works for the office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, focused on the report's claim that Brown had "received" more than £2 million in non-parliamentary fees and expenses since leaving office.

The report made clear that the money had been used only for Brown's public and charity work, and he had declared it in the parliamentary register of financial interests.

But King accused The Sunday Times of publishing a "deliberate slur". He was understood to have wanted a correction and an apology for the former Labour leader.

However, The Sunday Times has reported that the PCC rejected the complaint, after finding that the News International paper had made it sufficiently clear that the money had not been used for Brown's personal gain.

"It was the commission's view that the newspaper had not misrepresented the situation," the PCC said in its adjudication, which has not been made public.

"The article had made clear repeatedly that the payments were not for the gain of Mr Brown personally - it stated that the money 'was not for personal gain', that it had 'all been ploughed back into his public and charitable activities' and that 'each payment goes to the office of Gordon and Sarah Brown'."

King acknowledged the PCC's decision, but told The Guardian that Brown's office had secured five clarifications published by News International papers since last October about his earnings for non-parliamentary work.

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