GORDON Brown is pinning Labour's re-election hopes on securing the support of as many UK-based terrorists as possible, it emerged last night.
As it was revealed that Mr Brown supported the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi, Labour's internal polling shows the party has taken a 43-point lead over the Tories among terrorists, would-be terrorists and furious men with beards.
The polling results show that Mr Brown is favoured by terrorists on a range of key issues including education, the environment, support for small and medium sized enterprises and letting them out of jail after eight years if they blow something up.
However Mr Brown still trails David Cameron on the economy with most terrorists backing the Tory leader's commitment to cuts in public spending.
Mohammed X, a would-be terrorist from the Midlands, said: "I am worried about future tax rises, particularly as I am planning to blow stuff up which will cost millions of pounds to rebuild.
"I also believe that if cuts are going to be made it should not be to front line services but to politically-correct nonsense like the Special Branch and MI5."
He added: "But when it comes right down to it, Mr Brown's willingness to set me free means I am now leaning towards voting for the Labour chap."
Meanwhile, an exchange of letters between justice secretary Jack Straw and Kenny MacAskill, his Scottish counterpart, reveals the tensions between the two governments over exactly how to make a total and complete arse of al-Megrahi's release.
In early July Mr MacAksill wrote to Mr Straw to ask if the bomber was included in the Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya, adding: "And by the way, I've lost my wallet and I need to get back to Dunfermline for my cousin's birthday so is there any chance you could lend me five pounds for the bus? I'll send you a cheque as soon as I get home. I'm totally not some kind of alcy, if that's what you're thinking."
The following day Mr Straw replied: "No, no, absolutely not. Get away from me. You reek of cheap cider."