Gordon Brown today angrily denied claims that he was an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi, following media reports of him apparently praising the ex-Indian Prime Minister's policy of non-violence.
In a speech outlining his foreign policy in Mumbai yesterday, Gordon Brown appeared to sympathise with Gandhi's vision of world pacifism, saying "Sir, I salute your strength, your courage, your indefatigability".
A spokesman for Gordon Brown was quick to point out that while the Chancellor did indeed admire Gandhi's "big clunking fist" he deplored the Indian statesman's appalling record in non-violence.
He insisted that it was possible to admire positive attributes despite profoundly disagreeing with their philosophical outlook, "but only if it is popular," citing Saddam Hussein as an example of the sort of person who might also be described as having a strong will but who you should never say anything nice about. "Not even his dapper attire, which was of course much better than Gandhi's bedsheet look. Oops! Don't quote that!" he added.
The spokesman also denied that Gordon Brown had got his idea of a "new world order" by reading the back of a dollar bill, insisting that he had in fact been more influenced by his colleagues in the Freemasons and Bilderberg Group.
Shilpa Shetty and George Galloway were unavailable to comment.