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Southwold: Glum PM? No way!

PUBLISHED: 15:41 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:44 06 July 2010

THE Prime Minister and his family really did have a lovely time when they visited Southwold as part of their summer holiday in 2008.

A book written by journalist Andrew Rawnsley says Gordon Brown "hated every minute" of the trip which, he claims was the idea of his wife Sarah.

THE Prime Minister and his family really did have a lovely time when they visited Southwold as part of their summer holiday in 2008.

A book written by journalist Andrew Rawnsley says Gordon Brown “hated every minute” of the trip which, he claims was the idea of his wife Sarah.

The book, The End of the Party, says she chose the quintessential English resort but that Mr Brown couldn't wait to get to his native Scotland.

However, Mr Rawnsley's account has been disputed by people whom the PM met during his two-week stay at Shadingfield Hall.

During the visit, Mr Brown had a private meeting with the then Southwold mayor, Teresa Baggott.

Mrs Baggott recalled: “He seemed very happy - if anything, it was completely the opposite to what has been claimed.”

And a letter written by Mr Brown when he returned to 10 Downing Street suggests that the family had enjoyed their stay in north Suffolk.

In the letter, written to Lowestoft historian John Holmes, Mr Brown makes it abundantly clear that he and his family had a wonderful holiday.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard had given the Prime Minister a booklet written by Mr Holmes on the history of Southwold. Mr Brown wrote to Mr Holmes in November 2008 praising the booklet and Southwold.

In his letter, Mr Brown wrote: “My good friend Bob Blizzard passed on the wonderful booklet you prepared on the history of Southwold.

“My family and I had a lovely time in Southwold this past summer.

“Sarah and I enjoyed taking our boys to the beach probably as much as you and your wife enjoyed taking your two boys many years ago.

“Your booklet seems to be a real labour of love, and I am very grateful to you for sending it along.”

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