Damien McBride, the Labour aide forced to resign in shame last week over email smears about Tory MPs, had previously shown his poisonous side to PinkNews.co.uk over an article on Gordon Brown.

After we published an expose on Mr Brown’s poor voting record on gay rights in 2006, Mr McBride, his press secretary at the time, refuted suggestions that the then Chancellor was homophobic or uninterested in gay rights.

Our research showed that he had never attended Parliament when gay rights have been voted on while Labour has been in power.

Mr McBride, who was apparently confused as to which publication he was dealing with, said: “This is a ridiculous, irresponsible and shameful piece of garbage from a newspaper which does not understand the Parliamentary process.

“If the Pink Times [sic] wants to portray Gordon Brown as homophobic, can they explain why he has done more than any politician in history to reform the tax system in favour of gay couples – at every stage of which he has been opposed by David Cameron and his anti-gay cronies.

“If the Pink Times believes its readers would be better off back in the hands of the Section 28 Tories rather than a Chancellor who has ensured equal tax rights and employment laws for gay people, they are barking mad.”

Mr McBride had planned to spread a number of vicious and false rumours about Conservative MPs with references to mental illness, sexually transmitted diseases and financial dishonesty.

However, emails between him and blogger Derek Draper fell into the hands of Paul Staines, who revealed them on his Guido Fawkes website.