Gillian Duffy could never have imagined that when she popped out on April 28 for a loaf of bread, she would end up leaving Gordon Brown's campaign well and truly toasted. As part of Labour's plan for the PM to chat with "real" people on the campaign trail, a meet-and-greet was hastily organized in Rochdale, in the north of England. That was when Duffy heckled Brown about his views on immigration. The pair had what seemed like a good-natured conversation in front of the news cameras, then Brown went back to his car forgetting that his mike was still on. The PM proceeded to launch into a tirade, saying, "That was a disaster," and calling Duffy "just a sort of bigoted woman."
Before long, journalists were playing Brown's remarks back to him (one popular clip showed the humiliated Prime Minister putting his head in his hands), and his campaign was in full-on damage-control mode, sending Brown to Duffy's house for a private 45-minute conversation. And for all the spin in the world "I am a penitent sinner," Brown said, standing on Duffy's doorstep, and continued, "Sometimes you say things you don't mean to say, sometimes you say things by mistake, and sometimes you say things you want to correct very quickly" the damage had been done, and "Bigotgate" added yet another nail to Brown's political coffin.