Brown 'Embarrassed' By Salmond Saltire Stunt
Gordon Brown has told Sky News how he felt embarrassed when Alex Salmond staged his controversial Saltire stunt when Andy Murray won Wimbledon.
In an exclusive interview with Sky's Eamonn Holmes, he said the Scottish First Minister's gesture was a terrible mistake, cheap and made Scotland look small.
But the former Prime Minister also hit out at the Coalition Government's tactics in the battle over Scottish independence in the run-up to the referendum in September.
He said the tone of claims by the Liberal Democrat Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander that Scots would be £1,400 a year better off by staying in the UK was patronising.
Mr Brown was speaking to Sky News in an interview to mark the start of the 100-day countdown to the Scottish independence referendum in September.
The former Premier was asked by Eamonn Holmes: "Say you're down at Wimbledon then, Andy Murray's playing. Do you wish you had have pulled out the Saltire and waved it behind his head, and said 'He's our boy!'?"
Mr Brown replied: "That was a terrible mistake. Take politics out of this. I personally felt very embarrassed.
"The reason I felt embarrassed was it made Scotland look small. We're not a country in the end that goes for these gestures.
"We're not a country in the end that wants to dwell on grievance or gripes, or scoring a cheap point against England or against Britain. I think that was a very bad mistake."
But he said the Coalition was also guilty of mistakes, adding: "Just as, by the way, last week when the Scottish Office and the UK Government put out that statement that Scotland would be £1,400 better off without independence - and they gave the example of fish and chips you could buy, or holidays in Torremolinos.
"I thought that was patronising. So people can make mistakes and I think Mr Salmond ought to recognise that that made Scotland - because these pictures were shown all over the world - and I would never have done that.
"I think it made Scotland seem small, when I actually think Scotland should be big."
The Sky News interview marks a move by Mr Brown, still highly regarded by Scottish voters despite his humiliating general election defeat in 2010, to step up his efforts on behalf of the Better Together "No" campaign in Scotland.
On Monday he is due to make a speech on the Scottish referendum campaign to political journalists at Westminster.
:: With 100 days to go until the Scottish referendum, on Monday Sky News will have a day of special coverage on TV, online and mobile. This will include interviews with leading figures from both sides of the debate.