Has Paxman got the truth from Brown? Brown explains 'bigot' drama to BBC attack dog

Gordon Brown sought to justify his ‘Bigotgate’ outburst against Gillian Duffy last night, claiming he thought she was calling for foreign students to be kicked out of the country.

Giving his first explanation of why he thought the Rochdale pensioner was a ‘bigoted woman’ Mr Brown said he had mistakenly linked her concerns about immigration with those about university tuition fees for her grandchildren.

Mr Brown’s campaign descended into chaos on Wednesday when he was confronted by the 68-year-old Labour voter while campaigning in Rochdale. 

Jeremy Paxman and Gordon Brown

Grilling: Gordon Brown is quizzed by Jeremy Paxman about 'bigotgate'

He was recorded seconds later condemning her as he drove away from their encounter.

In the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman Interviews Gordon Brown (pls keep), broadcast last night, Mr Brown said: ‘I thought she was talking about expelling all university students for this country who were foreigners.’

But his bizarre explanation is not supported by the evidence.

Mrs Duffy told the Prime Minister: ‘You can't say anything about the immigrants ... but all these eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?’

After Mr Brown replied to her she moved on to talk about the costs of university.

Mrs Duffy said: ‘What are you going to do about students who are coming in then, all this that you have to pay, you've scrapped that Gordon.’

Mr Brown asked her if she was referring to tuition fees and she said: ‘Yes.  I'm thinking about my grandchildren here. What will they have to pay to get into university?’

Gordon Brown

Gaffe time: Mr Brown speaks with Gillian Duffy in Rochdale on Wednesday

At no point did Mrs Duffy say anything about sending foreign students home.

Mr Brown flatly refused to discuss what might happen to him in the event of a hung parliament, though when he was asked if he would serve in a Nick Clegg-led government, he snapped: ‘No.’

But on the economy he went further than before in spelling out his plans.

Mr Brown ruled out a VAT rise – something that is not in his party’s manifesto. ‘It’s not in our deficit reduction plan,’ he said. ‘It’s a no. It’s the Tory tax.’

And he admitted that both transport and housing will have to bear the brunt of public spending cuts – more detail than he has previously been prepared to admit.

‘We’re going to move from road to rail so you won’t see as much there,’ he admitted about transport spending.

He added: ‘Housing is essentially a private sector activity. We’ve renovated two million homes. I don’t see the need to continue with such big renovation programmes.’