One ex-Labour minister described the former prime minster as "not an innocent" over his aide's underhand tactics, while the current Labour leader Ed Miliband revealed he had personally urged Mr Brown to sack Mr McBride.
The controversial spin doctor confirmed that Mr Miliband had intervened in an attempt to get him fired and said he had been right to do so.
Dame Tessa Jowell, the former Olympics minister, said that Mr McBride clearly felt his activities had been "sanctioned" by his political masters.
Dame Tessa also said that in the absence of a clear statement from the former prime minster that he was unaware if what was going on "damages his reputation".
Mr Miliband's comments were the first time that he had spoken publicly since exerts from his upcoming memoir Power Trip revealed that Mr McBride had briefed against Labour ministers including former Home Secretaries John Reid and Charles Clarke.
Mr McBride also claimed Douglas Alexander personally asked for his sister Wendy to be sacked as Scottish Labour leader, a claim he has denied.