James Gordon Brown HonFRSE (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007. Brown was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2015, first for Dunfermline East and later for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.
A doctoral graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Brown spent his early career working as both a lecturer at a further education college and a television journalist. He entered Parliament in 1983 as the MP for Dunfermline East. He joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1989 as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade, and was later promoted to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1992. After Labour's victory in 1997, he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, becoming the longest-serving holder of that office in modern history.
Brown's time as Chancellor was marked by major reform of Britain's monetary and fiscal policy architecture, transferring interest rate setting powers to the Bank of England, by a wide extension of the powers of the Treasury to cover much domestic policy and by transferring responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority. Controversial moves included the abolition of advance corporation tax (ACT) relief in his first budget, and the removal in his final budget of the 10% "starting rate" of personal income tax which he had introduced in 1999. In 2007, Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister and Labour Leader and Brown was chosen to replace him in an uncontested election.
After initial rises in opinion polls following Brown becoming Prime Minister, Labour's popularity declined with the onset of a recession in 2008, leading to poor results in the local and European elections in 2009. A year later, Labour lost 91 seats in the House of Commons at the 2010 general election, the party's biggest loss of seats in a single general election since 1931, making the Conservatives the largest party in a hung parliament. Brown remained in office as Labour negotiated to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. On 10 May 2010, Brown announced he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party, and instructed the party to put into motion the processes to elect a new leader. Labour's attempts to retain power failed and on 11 May, he officially resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by David Cameron, and as Leader of the Labour Party by Ed Miliband.
Official portrait of Brown, c. 2009
|Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
27 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
|First Secretary||The Lord Mandelson (2009–10)|
|Preceded by||Tony Blair|
|Succeeded by||David Cameron|
|Leader of the Labour Party|
24 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
|General Secretary||Peter Watt|
|Preceded by||Tony Blair|
|Succeeded by||Ed Miliband|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
2 May 1997 – 27 June 2007
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair|
|Chief Secretary||Alistair Darling|
|Preceded by||Kenneth Clarke|
|Succeeded by||Alistair Darling|
|Member of Parliament|
for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Dunfermline East (1983–2005)
9 June 1983 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Dick Douglas (Dunfermline)|
|Succeeded by||Roger Mullin|
James Gordon Brown
20 February 1951
Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Sarah Macaulay (m. 2000)
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh (BA 1971, MA 1972, PhD 1982)|
Brown was born at the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland. His father was John Ebenezer Brown (1914–1998), a minister of the Church of Scotland and a strong influence on Brown. His mother was Jessie Elizabeth "Bunty" Brown (née Souter; 1918–2004). She was the daughter of John Souter, a timber merchant. The family moved to Kirkcaldy – then the largest town in Fife, across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh – when Gordon was three. Brown was brought up there with his elder brother John and younger brother Andrew Brown in a manse; he is therefore often referred to as a "son of the manse".
Brown was educated first at Kirkcaldy West Primary School where he was selected for an experimental fast stream education programme, which took him two years early to Kirkcaldy High School for an academic hothouse education taught in separate classes. At age sixteen he wrote that he loathed and resented this "ludicrous" experiment on young lives.
He was accepted by the University of Edinburgh to study history at the same early age of sixteen. During an end-of-term rugby union match at his old school, he received a kick to the head and suffered a retinal detachment. This left him blind in his left eye, despite treatment including several operations and weeks spent lying in a darkened room. Later at Edinburgh, while playing tennis, he noticed the same symptoms in his right eye. Brown underwent experimental surgery at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and his right eye was saved by a young eye surgeon, Hector Chawla. Brown graduated from Edinburgh with a First-Class Honours MA degree in history in 1972, and stayed on to obtain his PhD in history (which he gained ten years later in 1982), titled The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918–29.
In his youth at the University of Edinburgh, Brown was involved in a romantic relationship with Margarita, Crown Princess of Romania. Margarita said about it: "It was a very solid and romantic story. I never stopped loving him but one day it didn't seem right any more, it was politics, politics, politics, and I needed nurturing." An unnamed friend of those years is quoted by Paul Routledge in his biography of Brown as recalling: "She was sweet and gentle and obviously cut out to make somebody a very good wife. She was bright, too, though not like him, but they seemed made for each other."
In 1972, while still a student, Brown was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh, the convener of the University Court. He served as Rector until 1975, and also edited the document The Red Paper on Scotland.
From 1976 to 1980 Brown was employed as a lecturer in politics at Glasgow College of Technology. He also worked as a tutor for the Open University. In the 1979 general election, Brown stood for the Edinburgh South constituency, losing to the Conservative candidate, Michael Ancram.
Brown was elected to Parliament on his second attempt as a Labour MP for Dunfermline East in the 1983 general election. His first Westminster office mate was a newly elected MP from the Sedgefield constituency, Tony Blair. Brown became an opposition spokesman on Trade and Industry in 1985. In 1986, he published a biography of the Independent Labour Party politician James Maxton, the subject of his doctoral thesis. Brown was Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1987 to 1989 and then Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, before becoming Shadow Chancellor in 1992. Having led the Labour Movement Yes campaign, refusing to join the cross-party Yes for Scotland campaign, during the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum, while other senior Labour politicians – including Robin Cook, Tam Dalyell and Brian Wilson – campaigned for a No vote, Brown was subsequently a key participant in the Scottish Constitutional Convention, signing the Claim of Right for Scotland in 1989.
Labour leader John Smith died suddenly in May 1994. Brown did not contest the leadership after Tony Blair became the favourite, deciding to make way for Blair to avoid splitting the pro-modernising vote in the leadership ballot.
It has long been rumoured a deal was struck between Blair and Brown at the former Granita restaurant in Islington, in which Blair promised to give Brown control of economic policy in return for Brown not standing against him in the leadership election. Whether this is true or not, the relationship between Blair and Brown was central to the fortunes of New Labour, and they mostly remained united in public, despite reported serious private rifts.
As Shadow Chancellor, Brown as Chancellor-in-waiting was seen as a good choice by business and the middle class. While he was Chancellor inflation sometimes exceeded the 2% target causing the Governor of the Bank of England to write several letters to the Chancellor, each time inflation exceeded three per cent. Following a reorganisation of Westminster constituencies in Scotland in 2005, Brown became MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath at the general election.
In the 1997 general election, Labour defeated the Conservatives by a landslide to end their 18-year exile from government, and when Tony Blair, the new Prime Minister, announced his ministerial team on 2 May 1997, he appointed Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Brown would remain in this role for 10 years and two months, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. The Prime Minister's website highlights some achievements from Brown's decade as Chancellor: making the Bank of England independent and delivering an agreement on poverty and climate change at the G8 summit in 2005.
On taking office as Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown gave the Bank of England operational independence in monetary policy, and thus responsibility for setting interest rates through the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee. At the same time he also changed the inflation measure from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index and transferred responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority. Some commentators have argued that this division of responsibilities exacerbated the severity in Britain of the 2007 global banking crisis.
In the 1997 election and subsequently, Brown pledged not to increase the basic or higher rates of income tax. Over his Chancellorship, he reduced the basic rate from 23% to 20%. However, in all but his final budget, Brown increased the tax thresholds in line with inflation, rather than earnings, resulting in fiscal drag. Corporation tax fell under Brown, from a main rate of 33% to 28%, and from 24% to 19% for small businesses. In 1999, he introduced a lower tax band of 10%. He abolished this 10% tax band in his last budget in 2007 to reduce the basic rate from 22% to 20%, increasing tax for 5 million people and, according to the calculations of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, leaving those earning between £5,000 and £18,000 as the biggest losers. To backbench cheers, Brown had described the measure in his last Budget thus: "Having put in place more focused ways of incentivising work and directly supporting children and pensioners at a cost of £3bn a year, I can now return income tax to just two rates by removing the 10p band on non savings income".
According to the OECD UK taxation increased from a 39.3% share of gross domestic product in 1997 to 42.4% in 2006, going to a higher level than that of Germany. This increase has mainly been attributed to active government policy, and not simply to the growing economy. Conservatives have accused Brown of imposing "stealth taxes". A commonly reported example resulted in 1997 from a technical change in the way corporation tax is collected, the indirect effect of which was for the dividends on stock investments held within pensions to be taxed, thus lowering pension returns and contributing to the demise of most of the final salary pension funds in the UK. The Treasury contends that this tax change was crucial to long-term economic growth.
Brown's 2000 Spending Review outlined a major expansion of government spending, particularly on health and education. In his April 2002 budget, Brown increased National Insurance to pay for health spending. He also introduced working tax credits, and in his last budget as Chancellor, Brown gave an extra £3 billion in pension allowances, an increase in the child tax credit, and an increase in the working tax credit. These increases were followed by another £1 billion of support for increases in the child tax credit.
In October 1997, Brown announced that the Treasury would set five economic tests to determine whether the economic case had been made for the United Kingdom to adopt the European single currency. The Treasury indicated that the tests had not been passed in June 2003.
In 2000, Brown was accused of starting a political row about higher education (referred to as the Laura Spence Affair) when he accused the University of Oxford of elitism in its admissions procedures, describing its decision not to offer a place to state school pupil Laura Spence as "absolutely outrageous". Lord Jenkins, then Oxford Chancellor and himself a former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, said "nearly every fact he used was false."
Between 1999 and 2002 Brown sold 60% of the UK's gold reserves shortly before gold entered a protracted bull market, since nicknamed by dealers as the Brown Bottom or Brown's Bottom. The official reason for selling the gold reserves was to reduce the portfolio risk of the UK's reserves by diversifying away from gold. The UK eventually sold about 395 tons of gold over 17 auctions from July 1999 to March 2002, at an average price of about US$275 per ounce, raising approximately US$3.5 billion. By 2011, that quantity of gold would be worth over $19 billion, leading to Brown's decision to sell the gold being widely criticised.
During his time as Chancellor, Brown reportedly believed that it was appropriate to remove most, but not all, of the unpayable Third World debt. On 20 April 2006, in a speech to the United Nations Ambassadors, Brown outlined a "Green" view of global development.
In October 2004, Tony Blair announced he would not lead the party into a fourth general election, but would serve a full third term. Political comment over the relationship between Brown and Blair continued up to and beyond the 2005 election, which Labour won with a reduced majority and reduced vote share. Blair announced on 7 September 2006 that he would step down within a year. Brown was the clear favourite to succeed Blair; he was the only candidate spoken of seriously in Westminster. Appearances and news coverage leading up to the handover were interpreted as preparing the ground for Brown to become Prime Minister, in part by creating the impression of a statesman with a vision for leadership and global change. This enabled Brown to signal the most significant priorities for his agenda as Prime Minister; speaking at a Fabian Society conference on 'The Next Decade' in January 2007, he stressed education, international development, narrowing inequalities (to pursue 'equality of opportunity and fairness of outcome'), renewing Britishness, restoring trust in politics, and winning hearts and minds in the war on terror as key priorities.
Brown ceased to be Chancellor and became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 27 June 2007. Like all modern Prime Ministers, Brown concurrently served as the First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service, and was a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. Until his resignation from the post in May 2010 he was Leader of the Labour Party. He was Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath until he stepped down in 2015. He was the sixth post-war Prime Minister, of a total of 13, to assume the role without having won a general election. Brown was the first Prime Minister from a Scottish constituency since the Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home in 1964. Not all British prime ministers have been university graduates, but, of those that were, Brown was one of only five that had not attended either Oxford or Cambridge. Brown proposed moving some traditional prime ministerial powers conferred by royal prerogative to the realm of Parliament, such as the power to declare war and approve appointments to senior positions. Brown wanted Parliament to gain the right to ratify treaties and have more oversight into the intelligence services. He also proposed moving some powers from Parliament to citizens, including the right to form "citizens' juries", easily petition Parliament for new laws, and rally outside Westminster. He asserted that the attorney general should not have the right to decide whether to prosecute in individual cases, such as in the loans for peerages scandal.
There was speculation during September and early October 2007 about whether Brown would call a snap general election. Indeed, the party launched the Not Flash, Just Gordon advertising campaign, which was seen largely as pre-election promotion of Brown as Prime Minister. However, Brown announced on 6 October that there would be no election any time soon – despite opinion polls showing that he was capable of winning an election should he call one. This proved to be a costly mistake, as during 2008 his party slid behind the Conservatives (led by David Cameron) in the polls. Disputes over political donations, a string of losses in local elections, and by-election losses in Crewe and Glasgow did himself and the government no favours either.
His political opponents accused him of being indecisive, which Brown denied. In July 2008 Brown supported a new bill extending the pre-charge detention period to 42 days. The bill was met with opposition on both sides of the House and backbench rebellion. In the end the bill passed by just 9 votes. The House of Lords defeated the bill, with Lords characterising it as "fatally flawed, ill thought through and unnecessary", stating that "it seeks to further erode fundamental legal and civil rights".
Brown was mentioned by the press in the expenses crisis for claiming for the payment of his cleaner. However, no wrongdoing was found and the Commons Authority did not pursue Brown over the claim. Meanwhile, the Commons Fees Office stated that a double payment for a £153 plumbing repair bill was a mistake on their part and that Brown had repaid it in full.
The manifesto included a clampdown on corruption and a new Ministerial Code, which set out clear standards of behaviour for ministers. Brown also stated in a speech when announcing his bid that he wants a "better constitution" that is "clear about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in Britain today". He planned to set up an all-party convention to look at new powers for Parliament and to look at rebalancing powers between Whitehall and local government. Brown said he would give Parliament the final say on whether British troops are sent into action in future.
Brown said he wanted to release more land and ease access to ownership with shared equity schemes. He backed a proposal to build new eco-towns, each housing between 10,000 and 20,000 home-owners – up to 100,000 new homes in total. Brown also said he wanted to have doctors' surgeries open at the weekends, and GPs on call in the evenings. Doctors were given the right of opting out of out-of-hours care in 2007, under a controversial pay deal, signed by then-Health Secretary John Reid, which awarded them a 22 percent pay rise in 2006. Brown also stated in the manifesto that the NHS was his top priority.
On 5 June 2007, just three weeks before he was due to take the post of Prime Minister, Brown made a speech promising "British Jobs for British workers". Brown reiterated that promise at the Labour Party's annual conference in September, which caused controversy as he coupled this with a commitment to crack down on migrant workers. The Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, promptly pointed out that such a commitment was illegal under EU law.
Brown was committed to the Iraq War, but said in a speech in June 2007 that he would "learn the lessons" from the mistakes made in Iraq. Brown said in a letter published on 17 March 2008 that the United Kingdom would hold an inquiry into the war.
Brown went to great lengths to empathise with those who lost family members in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. He has often said "War is tragic", echoing Blair's quote, "War is horrible". Nonetheless, in November 2007 Brown was accused by some senior military figures of not adhering to the Military Covenant, a convention within British politics ensuring adequate safeguards, rewards and compensation for military personnel who risk their lives in obedience to orders derived from the policy of the elected government.
Brown did not attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics, on 8 August 2008 in Beijing, instead he attended the closing ceremony on 24 August 2008. Brown had been under intense pressure from human rights campaigners to send a message to China, concerning the 2008 Tibetan unrest. His decision not to attend the opening ceremony was not an act of protest, but rather was made several weeks in advance and not intended as a stand on principle.
In a speech in July 2007, Brown clarified his position regarding Britain's relationship with the USA "We will not allow people to separate us from the United States of America in dealing with the common challenges that we face around the world. I think people have got to remember that the special relationship between a British prime minister and an American president is built on the things that we share, the same enduring values about the importance of liberty, opportunity, the dignity of the individual. I will continue to work, as Tony Blair did, very closely with the American administration."
Brown and the Labour party had pledged to allow a referendum on the EU Treaty of Lisbon. On 13 December 2007, Foreign Secretary David Miliband attended for the Prime Minister at the official signing ceremony in Lisbon of the EU Reform Treaty. Brown's opponents on both sides of the House, and in the press, suggested that ratification by Parliament was not enough and that a referendum should also be held. Labour's 2005 manifesto had pledged to give British public a referendum on the original EU Constitution. Brown argued that the Treaty significantly differed from the Constitution, and as such did not require a referendum. He also responded with plans for a lengthy debate on the topic, and stated that he believed the document to be too complex to be decided by referendum.
During Brown's premiership, in October 2008, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended to the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith that cannabis remain classified as a Class C drug. Acting against the advice of the Council, she chose to reclassify it as Class B. After Professor David Nutt, the chair of the ACMD, criticised this move in a lecture in 2009, he was asked to step down by then Home Secretary Alan Johnson. Following his resignation, Professor Nutt said Brown had "made up his mind" to reclassify cannabis despite evidence to the contrary. Brown had argued, "I don't think that the previous studies took into account that so much of the cannabis on the streets is now of a lethal quality and we really have got to send out a message to young people—this is not acceptable". Professor Nutt's predecessor at the ACMD, Sir Michael Rawlins, later said, "Governments may well have good reasons for taking an alternative view ... When that happens, then the government should explain why it's ignoring the particular advice".
Brown's premiership coincided with the global recession, during which Brown called for fiscal action in an attempt to stimulate aggregate demand. Domestically, Brown's administration introduced measures including a bank rescue package worth around £500 billion (approximately $850 billion), a temporary 2.5% cut in value-added tax and a "car scrappage" scheme.
In mid-2008, Brown's leadership was presented with a challenge as some MPs openly called for him to resign. This event was dubbed the 'Lancashire Plot', as two backbenchers from (pre-1974) Lancashire urged him to step down and a third questioned his chances of holding on to the Labour Party leadership. Several MPs argued that if Brown did not recover in the polls by early 2009, he should call for a leadership contest. However, certain prominent MPs, such as Jacqui Smith and Bill Rammell, suggested that Brown was the right person to lead Britain through its economic crisis. In the Autumn, Siobhain McDonagh, a MP and junior government whip, who during her time in office had never voted against the government, spoke of the need for discussion over Brown's position. McDonagh was sacked from her role shortly afterwards, on 12 September. Whilst McDonagh did not state that she wanted Brown deposed, she implored the Labour party to hold a leadership election, she was sacked from her role shortly afterwards. McDonagh was supported by Joan Ryan (who applied, as McDonagh had, for leadership nomination papers, and became the second rebel to be fired from her job), Jim Dowd, Greg Pope, and a string of others who had previously held positions in government, made clear their desire for a contest. In the face of this speculation over Brown's future, his ministers backed him to lead the party, and Harriet Harman and David Miliband denied that they were preparing leadership bids. After Labour lost the Glasgow East by-election in July, Harman, the deputy leader of the party, said that Brown was the "solution", not the "problem"; Home Secretary Smith, Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Schools Secretary Ed Balls and Cabinet Office Minister Ed Miliband all re-affirmed their support for Brown. The deputy Prime Minister under Blair, John Prescott, also pledged his support. Foreign Secretary David Miliband then denied that he was plotting a leadership bid, when on 30 July, an article written by him in The Guardian was interpreted by a large number in the media as an attempt to undermine Brown. In the article, Miliband outlined the party's future, but neglected to mention the Prime Minister. Miliband, responded to this by saying that he was confident Brown could lead Labour to victory in the next general election, and that his article was an attack against the fatalism in the party since the loss of Glasgow-East. Miliband continued to show his support for Brown in the face of the challenge that emerged in September, as did Business Secretary John Hutton, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, and Chief Whip Geoff Hoon.
On 6 January 2010, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon jointly called for a secret ballot on the future of Brown's leadership. The call received little support and the following day Hoon said that it appeared to have failed and was "over". Brown later referred to the call for a secret ballot as a "form of silliness".
In the local elections on 1 May 2008, Labour suffered their worst results in 40 years finishing in third place with a projected 24% share of the national vote. Subsequently, the party has seen the loss of by-elections in Nantwich and Crewe and Henley as well as slumps in the polls. A by-election in Glasgow East triggered by the resignation of David Marshall saw the Labour party struggle to appoint a candidate, eventually settling for Margaret Curran, a sitting MSP in the Scottish Parliament. The SNP, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats all derided Labour for their disorganised nature, with Alex Salmond commenting "This is their 'lost weekend'—they don't have a leader in Scotland, they don't have a candidate in Glasgow East, and they have a prime minister who refuses to come to the constituency". Labour lost the constituency to the Scottish National Party's John Mason who took 11,277 votes with Labour just 365 behind. The seat experienced a swing of 22.54%.
In the European elections, Labour polled 16% of the vote, finishing in third place behind the Conservatives and UK Independence Party (UKIP). Voter apathy was reflected in the historically low turnout of around thirty three percent. In Scotland voter turnout was only twenty eight per cent. In the local elections, Labour polled 23% of the vote, finishing in third place behind Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with Labour losing control of the four councils it had held prior to the election. In a vote widely considered to be a reaction to the expenses scandal, the share of the votes was down for all the major parties; Labour was down one percent, the Conservative share was down five percent. The beneficiary of the public backlash was generally seen to be the minor parties, including the Green Party and UKIP. These results were Labour's worst since World War II. Brown was quoted in the press as having said that the results were "a painful defeat for Labour", and that "too many good people doing so much good for their communities and their constituencies have lost through no fault of their own."
In April 2010, Brown asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament. The General Election campaign included the first televised leadership debates in Britain. The result of the election on 6 May was a hung parliament. Brown was re-elected as MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath with 29,559 votes.
Brown announced on 10 May 2010 that he would stand down as Labour Leader, with a view to a successor being chosen before the next Labour Party Conference in September 2010. The following day, negotiations between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition government failed. During the evening, Brown visited Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation as Prime Minister to Queen Elizabeth II and to recommend that she invite the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, to form a government. He resigned as leader of the Labour Party with immediate effect.
On 13 May 2010, in his first public appearance since leaving 10 Downing Street, two days after resigning as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, Brown confirmed he intended to stay on in Parliament, serving as a Labour backbencher, to serve the people of his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.
Towards the end of May 2010, Brown began writing Beyond the Crash, completing it after 14 weeks. The book discusses the 2007–08 financial crisis and Brown's recommendations for future co-ordinated global action.
On 1 December 2014, Brown announced that he would not be seeking re-election to parliament. He stood down at the General Election in May 2015.
In April 2011, media reports linked Brown with the role as the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund following the scheduled retirement of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Brown's successor and Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, supported Brown for the role while the Prime Minister, David Cameron, voiced opposition to this. Following the arrest of Strauss-Kahn for alleged sexual assault in May 2011, and his subsequent resignation, these reports re-surfaced. Support for Brown among economists was mixed but British Government backing for his candidature was not forthcoming and instead supported Christine Lagarde – the eventual successful candidate – for the post.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who had worked with the government during Brown's premiership to publish government data on the internet in the data.gov.uk project, subsequently invited Brown to become a board director of the World Wide Web Foundation to "advise the Web Foundation on ways to involve disadvantaged communities and global leaders in the development of sustainable programs that connect humanity and affect positive change". On 22 April 2011 it was announced that Brown would be taking on an unpaid advisory role at the World Economic Forum. Brown was also appointed as the inaugural 'Distinguished Leader in Residence' by New York University and has already taken part in discussions and lectures relating to the global financial crisis and globalisation.
In July 2012 Brown was named by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education. He chaired the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. The position is unpaid.
In December 2015, Brown took his first large-scale role in the private sector since standing down as prime minister in 2010, becoming an advisor to PIMCO. Any money earned from the role is to go to the Gordon and Sarah Brown Foundation to support charitable work.
Brown is concerned about child poverty and poverty in general. Brown said, “It makes me angry. I’m seeing poverty I didn’t think I would ever see again in my lifetime. Slum housing was a feature of my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s, and I thought we had finally got over the worst of child poverty. Tax credits were the key to that.” Brown also said, “You can’t solve child poverty with the existing system. Universal credit is completely underfunded and every time they move people on to it you see more poverty. Minimum wage jobs don’t pay enough to keep a family with two or three children out of poverty.” Brown said further, “The government is trying to analyse this as people who are too lazy to get into work. But the problem is that people can’t earn enough to stay out of poverty.”
Brown's early girlfriends included the journalist Sheena McDonald and Princess Margarita, the eldest daughter of exiled King Michael of Romania. At the age of 49, Brown married Sarah Macaulay in a private ceremony at his home in North Queensferry, Fife, on 3 August 2000. On 28 December 2001 a daughter, Jennifer Jane, was born prematurely and died on 7 January 2002 one day after suffering a brain haemorrhage. They have two sons, John Macaulay (born 17 October 2003) and (James) Fraser (born on 18 July 2006). In November 2006, Fraser was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The Sun had learned of the situation in 2006 and published the story. In 2011 Brown stated he had wanted the details of his son's condition kept private and that the publication had left him "in tears". The Sun said they approached Brown and that discussion occurred with his colleagues who provided quotes to use in the article.
Sarah Brown rarely makes official appearances, whether with or without her husband. She is patron of several charities and has written articles for national newspapers related to this. At the 2008 Labour Party Conference, Sarah caused surprise by taking to the stage to introduce her husband for his keynote address. Since then her public profile has increased.
Brown has two brothers, John Brown and Andrew Brown. Andrew has been Head of Media Relations in the UK for the French-owned utility company EDF Energy since 2004. Brown is also the brother-in-law of environmental journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown. Brown wrote a piece for The Independent supporting Clare's current environmental efforts on behalf of Sarawak.
Whilst Prime Minister, Brown spent some of his spare time at Chequers, the house often being filled with friends. The Browns have entertained local dignitaries like Sir Leonard Figg. Brown is also a friend of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, who says of Brown "I know him as affable, funny and gregarious, a great listener, a kind and loyal friend."
The son of a Church of Scotland minister, Brown has talked about what he calls his "moral compass" and of his parents being his "inspiration". He has, at least ostensibly, been keen to keep his religion a private matter. According to The Guardian, he is a member of the Church of Scotland.
On 24 July 2008, Brown spoke at the "Walk of Witness" in support of poverty reduction worldwide during the Lambeth Conference. He called the march "one of the greatest demonstrations of faith this great city has ever seen." Brown said that "at our current rates of progress," the MDGs will not be met by the 2015 deadline. He told the Anglican Communion bishops, "I say to you that the poor of the world have been patient but 100 years is too long for people to wait for justice and that is why we must act now." The full speech can be read at Gordon Brown Speech to the Walk for Witness Rally 24 July 2008.
In March 2009 Brown was named World Statesman of the Year by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an American organisation 'dedicated to promoting peace, human rights and understanding between religious faiths'. The award was presented by Rabbi Arthur Schneier who praised Brown's "compassionate leadership in dealing with the challenging issues facing humanity, his commitment to freedom, human dignity and the environment, and for the major role he has played in helping to stabilise the world's financial system".
The next prime minister is always referred to as a 'son of the manse'
...the Claim of Right of Scotland. I have it before me now as I write—a note of sadness as I see that the first two signatures, side by side, are those of the late John Smith MP and myself, a note of gratified surprise to see these closely followed by the autographs of Gordon Brown, Robin Cook, George Robertson, Donald Dewar, Malcolm Bruce, Jim Wallace and, more important, an impressive cross-section of Scotland's civil society.
| Rector of the University of Edinburgh
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament
for Dunfermline East
| Member of Parliament
for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
| Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
| Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
| Shadow President of the Board of Trade|
| Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
| Chancellor of the Exchequer
| Second Lord of the Treasury|
| Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
| First Lord of the Treasury|
| Minister for the Civil Service|
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Labour Party
George W. Bush
| Chairperson of the Group of 20
The 2007 Labour Party leadership election was formally triggered on 10 May 2007 by the resignation of Tony Blair, Labour Leader since the previous leadership contest on 21 July 1994. At the same time Blair resigned, John Prescott resigned as Deputy Leader triggering a concurrent election for the deputy leadership.Informal campaigning had been ongoing ever since Tony Blair's original announcement in 2004 that he would not be fighting a fourth general election as leader. Pressure for a timetable eventually led him to announce on 7 September 2006 that he would step down within a year. Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) met on 13 May 2007 to decide a timetable. Nominations opened on 14 May and closed at 12:30 UTC+1 on 17 May 2007.
Blair said he expected Gordon Brown to succeed him, and that Brown "would make an excellent Prime Minister". When nominations for the leadership elections opened, Blair was one of those nominating Brown. From the start most observers considered Brown the overwhelming favourite to succeed Blair; John McDonnell, his only challenger, failed to secure enough nominations in order to get onto the ballot and conceded defeat to Gordon Brown. Brown received 313 (88.2%) nominations to McDonnell's 29 (8.2%), making it mathematically impossible for anyone other than Brown to be nominated.
The election process concluded with Gordon Brown being declared leader at a special conference on 24 June 2007. On 27 June, Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Gordon Brown.
If Brown had not been unopposed, Labour Party members would have directly elected a new Prime Minister for the very first time.2010 Dissolution Honours
The 2010 Dissolution Honours List was issued on 28 May 2010 at the advice of the outgoing Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. The list was gazetted on 15 June.2010 United Kingdom general election
The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority. The Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the largest number of votes and seats, but still fell 20 seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. This was only the second general election since the Second World War to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. Unlike in 1974, the potential for a hung parliament had this time been widely considered and predicted, and both the country and politicians were better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result. The coalition government that was subsequently formed was the first coalition in British history to eventuate directly from an election outcome. The hung parliament came about in spite of the Conservatives managing both a higher vote total and higher share of the vote than the previous Labour government had done in 2005, when it secured a comfortable majority.
Coalition talks began immediately between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and lasted for five days. There was an aborted attempt to put together a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition (although other smaller parties would have been required to make up the ten seats they lacked for a majority). To facilitate this, Gordon Brown announced on the evening of Monday 10 May that he would resign as Leader of the Labour Party. Realising that a deal with the Conservatives was within reach, the next day on Tuesday 11 May, Brown announced his resignation as Prime Minister, marking the end of 13 years of Labour government. This was accepted by Queen Elizabeth II, who then invited David Cameron to form a government in her name and become Prime Minister. Just after midnight on 12 May, the Liberal Democrats emerged from a meeting of their Parliamentary party and Federal Executive to announce that the coalition deal had been "approved overwhelmingly", sealing a coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
None of the three main party leaders had previously led a general election campaign, a situation which had not occurred since the 1979 election. During the campaign, the three main party leaders engaged in a series of televised debates, the first such debates in a UK general election campaign. The Liberal Democrats achieved a breakthrough in opinion polls after the first debate, in which their leader Nick Clegg was widely seen as the strongest performer. Nonetheless, on polling day their share of the vote increased by only 1% over the previous general election, and they suffered a net loss of five seats. This was still the Liberal Democrats' largest popular vote since the party's creation in 1988, and they found themselves in a pivotal role in the formation of the new government. The share of votes for parties other than Labour or the Conservatives was 35%, the largest since the 1918 general election. In terms of votes it was the most "three-cornered" election since 1923, and in terms of seats since 1929. The Green Party of England and Wales won its first ever seat in the House of Commons, and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland also gained its first elected member. The general election saw a 5.1% national swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the third-largest since 1945. The result in one constituency, Oldham East and Saddleworth, was subsequently declared void on petition because of illegal practices during the campaign, the first such instance since 1910.Alistair Darling
Alistair Maclean Darling, Baron Darling of Roulanish, (born 28 November 1953), is a British Labour Party politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 2007-2010 and as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1987 until he stepped down in 2015, most recently for Edinburgh South West. He was one of only three people to have served in the Cabinet continuously from Labour's landslide victory at the 1997 general election until their defeat at the 2010 general election; the other two were Gordon Brown and Jack Straw.
Darling was first appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997, and was promoted to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 1998. After spending four years at that department, he spent a further four years as Secretary of State for Transport, while also becoming Secretary of State for Scotland in 2003. Blair moved Darling for a final time in 2006, making him President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, before new Prime Minister Gordon Brown promoted Darling to replace himself as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2007, a position he remained in until 2010.From 2012-14, Darling was the chairman of the Better Together Campaign, a cross-party group that successfully campaigned for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom in the 2014 independence referendum. On 3 November 2014, Darling announced that he was standing down at the 2015 general election. He was nominated for a life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours and was created The Baron Darling of Roulanish, of Great Bernera in the County of Ross and Cromarty, on 1 December 2015.Darling was a vocal advocate for the Remain campaign in the referendum on June 23 2016.Blair–Brown deal
The Blair–Brown deal (or Granita Pact) was a gentlemen's agreement struck between the British Labour Party politicians Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in May 1994, while they were Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer respectively.
It is widely believed that the two met in the now defunct restaurant Granita in Islington, London, following the unexpected death of the Labour Leader John Smith on 12 May, and that Brown agreed to not stand in the forthcoming Labour leadership election so as to allow Blair a better chance of easy victory.
In return, Brown would be granted wide powers over domestic policy in any future government led by Blair; it is also widely believed that Blair agreed, if he were appointed Prime Minister, to stay in the job for only two terms and then resign in Brown's favour. Blair would go on to lead Labour to a landslide victory in the general election of 1997. The existence of any deal was denied for many years by both men.Brown ministry
Gordon Brown formed the Brown ministry after being invited by Queen Elizabeth II to begin a new government following the resignation of the previous Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, on 27 June 2007. He took office as Prime Minister, a title he would hold until his resignation on 11 May 2010. In his inaugural cabinet, Brown appointed the United Kingdom's first female Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.Brownism
Brownism was a phrase used in an article by BBC reporter Mark Easton to describe the political ideology of Gordon Brown. The related personal identifier "Brownite" has been used to describe people close to Brown. In an opiniated article, Anthony Giddens claimed that in contrast to Blairite, the adjective used to refer to the political ideology of Tony Blair, Brownites tend to be less enthusiastic about market driven reforms such as tuition fees and foundation hospitals and more keen on the role of the state, less critical of Labour's links to the unions and critical of media management techniques such as the use of spin doctors. Will Hutton opined: "Like Tony Blair he [Gordon Brown] is a believer in a pluralist and fair society, social mobility, and marrying economic efficiency with social justice".Cathy Gordon Brown
Cathy Gordon Brown (born March 18, 1965) was an Independent candidate for President of the United States in the United States presidential election, 2000, with ballot access only in her home state of Tennessee where she received 1,606 votes, which was more than either third party candidates Howard Phillips (Constitution Party) and John Hagelin (Natural Law Party), or fellow Tennessee independent Randall Venson received. Brown's running mate was Sabrina R. Allen. On 20/20 Downtown, she stated she "always wanted to be the first woman president."Brown had never filed a statement of candidacy. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) had Brown listed as a resident of Old Hickory, Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Blue Book, the Brown-Allen ticket only had one Elector, even though presidential candidates in Tennessee are allowed eleven electors.
The University of Oregon Oregon Daily Emerald noted that people disturbed by the spoiler effect in elections, particularly with respect to the close 2000 presidential election were singling out Ralph Nader for blame, but not "criticizing Cathy Gordon Brown" or other third party and independent candidates. The April 10, 2004 issue of the "conservative journal of opinion" the Oregon Commentator responded by criticizing her, tongue-in-cheek.Coalition (film)
Coalition is a television film about the formation of a coalition government following the 2010 United Kingdom general election. It was broadcast on Channel 4 on 28 March 2015, shortly before that year's general election. The film was written by James Graham and starred Bertie Carvel as Nick Clegg, Ian Grieve as Gordon Brown, and Mark Dexter as David Cameron. Graham wrote the film in the aim of giving humanity and enabling empathy to all of the figures portrayed within it, which earned it positive reviews from critics.Douglas Alexander
Douglas Garven Alexander (born 26 October 1967) is a British Labour Party politician who served in the Cabinet from 2006 to 2010 under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the roles of Secretary of State for Scotland, Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for International Development. He subsequently served in Labour leader Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Foreign Secretary. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1997 to 2015, representing the Scottish constituencies of Paisley South (1997–2005) and Paisley and Renfrewshire South (2005–15).
Alexander was first elected to Parliament in the Paisley South by-election in 1997. In 2003, he became a minister and held several positions including Minister of State for Europe from 2005–06. At the 2005 general election, the Paisley South constituency was abolished and Alexander was elected to represent its successor seat of Paisley and Renfrewshire South. He was appointed to the Cabinet by Tony Blair in 2006, serving as both Secretary of State for Scotland and Secretary of State for Transport. When Gordon Brown replaced Blair as Prime Minister in 2007, Alexander became the Secretary of State for International Development.
After Labour lost the 2010 general election and Ed Miliband became the party's leader, Alexander was elected to the Shadow Cabinet and was made the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He held this position until a 2011 reshuffle, when he was appointed Shadow Foreign Secretary. In October 2013, he was appointed by Miliband as the party's Chair of General Election Strategy. In 2015, he failed to be re-elected to the Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat in the House of Commons, when it was won by Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party.Ed Miliband
Edward Samuel Miliband (born 24 December 1969) is a British politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Doncaster North since 2005, being re-elected in 2010, 2015, and 2017. He was Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition between 2010 and 2015. He also served in the Cabinet from 2007–10 under Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Miliband was born in the Fitzrovia district of Central London to Polish Jewish immigrants Marion Kozak and Ralph Miliband, a Marxist intellectual who was a native of Brussels and fled Belgium during World War II. He graduated from Corpus Christi College, Oxford and later from the London School of Economics. Miliband became first a television journalist, then a Labour Party researcher and a visiting scholar at Harvard University, before rising to become one of Chancellor Gordon Brown's confidants and Chairman of HM Treasury's Council of Economic Advisers.
Miliband was elected to the House of Commons in 2005. Prime Minister Tony Blair made Miliband Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office in May 2006. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, he appointed Miliband Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Miliband was subsequently promoted to the new post of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, a position he held from 2008-10.
After the Labour Party was defeated at the 2010 general election, Brown resigned as Leader of the Labour Party; in September 2010, Miliband was elected to replace him. His tenure as Labour leader was characterised by a leftward shift in his party's policies, and by opposition to the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government's cuts to the public sector. He led his party into several elections, including the 2014 European Parliament election. Following Labour's defeat by the Conservative Party at the 2015 general election, Miliband announced his resignation as leader on 8 May 2015. He was succeeded in the ensuing leadership election by Jeremy Corbyn.Gordon Brown (guard)
Francis Gordon "Skim" Brown (September 9, 1879 – May 10, 1911) was an American college football player. He played for the Yale Bulldogs football team of Yale University from 1897 to 1900. In 1900, he captained the Yale football team which was referred to as the "Team of the Century". He was also an academic leader of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.Gordon Brown (rugby union)
Gordon Lamont Brown (1 November 1947 - 19 March 2001) was a Scottish international rugby union footballer. He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2001. He was also an inductee to the Scottish Rugby Union Hall of Fame in 2010. And, The World Rugby Hall of Fame at a ceremony at Wembley during the Rugby World Cup 2015. His nickname was Broon frae Troon (i.e. Brown from Troon) after his home town in west central Scotland. Brown played second row for West of Scotland, Scotland and the British Lions. He is often considered "Scotland's greatest second row". He was the younger brother of Peter Brown, the son of footballer John Brown, and the nephew of footballers Tom and Jim Brown.
Richard Bath writes of him:
A buoyant larger-than-life figure, Brown was an abrasive steamroller of a lock. Unmoveable in the scrum and unfailingly sure on his own ball at the line-out, he also displayed a dynamism in the loose [play] and an ability to look after himself when the going got tough. At 6ft 5in. and over 17 stone, Brown had trouble maintaining peak fitness, so it was hardly surprising his greatest moments came on tour.Manse
A manse () is a clergy house inhabited by, or formerly inhabited by, a minister, usually used in the context of Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and other Christian traditions.
Ultimately derived from the Latin mansus, "dwelling", from manere, "to remain", by the 16th century the term meant both a dwelling and, in ecclesiastical contexts, the amount of land needed to support a single family.Many notable Scots have been called "sons (or daughters) of the manse", and the term is a recurring point of reference within Scottish media and culture. For example, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was described as a "son of the manse" as he is the son of a Presbyterian minister.When selling a former manse, the Church of Scotland always requires that the property should not be called "The Manse" by the new owners, but "The Old Manse" or some other acceptable variation. The intended result is that "The Manse" refers to a working building rather than simply applying as a name.Nathan Brown (Australian footballer, born 1978)
Nathan Gordon Brown (born 10 February 1978) is a radio and television football commentator and a former Australian rules footballer for Richmond and the Western Bulldogs in the AFL. He played a total of 219 senior AFL matches and kicked 349 goals. His playing career ended after Richmond told him at the end of 2009, that he would no longer be required as a player.
Recruited from Golden Square and then the Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup to the Western Bulldogs in the AFL, Brown made a name for himself as a dangerous medium-sized forward.
He played with the Bulldogs from 1997 to 2003, and left the club after a more lucrative contract was offered by Richmond. At the time the Western Bulldogs had asked many of their high profile players to take pay cuts to support the team financially.New Labour
New Labour refers to a period in the history of the British Labour Party from the mid-1990s until 2010 under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The name dates from a conference slogan first used by the party in 1994, later seen in a draft manifesto published in 1996, New Labour, New Life for Britain. It was presented as the brand of a newly reformed party that had altered Clause IV and endorsed market economics. The branding was extensively used while the party was in government between 1997 and 2010. New Labour was influenced by the political thinking of Anthony Crosland, the leadership of Blair and Brown, as well as Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell's media campaigning. The political philosophy of New Labour was influenced by the party's development of Anthony Giddens' "Third Way", which attempted to provide a synthesis between capitalism and socialism. The party emphasised the importance of social justice, rather than equality, emphasising the need for equality of opportunity and believed in the use of free markets to deliver economic efficiency and social justice.
The "New Labour" brand was developed to regain trust from the electorate and to portray a departure from their traditional democratic socialist policies, which was criticised for its breaking of election promises and its links between trade unions and the state and to communicate the party's modernisation to the public. Following the leadership of Neil Kinnock and John Smith, the party under the New Labour brand attempted to widen its electoral appeal and by the 1997 general election it had made significant gains in the upper and middle-classes, effectively giving the party a landslide victory. Labour maintained this wider support at the 2001 general election and won a third consecutive victory in 2005 for the first time ever in the history of the Labour Party.
In 2007, Blair resigned from the party leadership after thirteen years and was succeeded by his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. Labour lost the 2010 general election, which resulted in the first hung parliament in thirty-six years and led to the creation of a Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government. Brown resigned as Prime Minister and as Labour Party leader shortly thereafter. He was succeeded as party leader by Ed Miliband, who abandoned the New Labour branding and moved the Labour Party's political stance further to the left. Miliband resigned in 2015 and was replaced by a socialist, Jeremy Corbyn, leading one MP to comment that New Labour is "dead and buried".Premiership of Gordon Brown
The premiership of Gordon Brown began on 27 June 2007 when Brown accepted the Queen's invitation to form a government, replacing Tony Blair as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It ended with his resignation as Prime Minister on 11 May 2010. While serving as Prime Minister, Brown also served as the First Lord of the Treasury, the Minister for the Civil Service and the Leader of the Labour Party. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by David Cameron after the 2010 general election.
Brown's style of government differed from that of Tony Blair, who had been seen as presidential. Brown rescinded some of the policies which had been introduced or were planned by Blair's administration. He remained committed to close ties with the United States and to the war in Iraq, although he established an inquiry into the reasons for Britain's participation in the conflict. He proposed a "government of all the talents" which would involve co-opting leading personalities from industry and professional occupations into government positions. Brown also appointed Jacqui Smith as the UK's first female Home Secretary, while Brown's former position as Chancellor of the Exchequer was taken over by Alistair Darling.
Brown's government introduced monetary and fiscal policies to help keep the banks afloat during the financial crisis in 2008, and as a result the United Kingdom's national debt increased dramatically. The Government took majority shareholdings in Northern Rock and Royal Bank of Scotland, both of which experienced financial difficulties. Large amounts of money were injected into several other banks, including newly merged HBOS-Lloyds TSB, which received £17 billion. Domestic policies focusing on education, employment and health were introduced by the administration. The Labour Party was persuaded to give Gurkhas settlement rights in Britain by the campaign of actress Joanna Lumley and attracted criticism for its handling of the Scottish Government's release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi—the only person to have been convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Brown was also dogged by allegations of bullying.
During the first four months of his premiership, Brown enjoyed a substantial lead in the polls. His popularity amongst the public may have been because his handling of numerous serious events during his first few weeks as Prime Minister, including two attempted terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow at the end of June 2007. However, between the end of 2007 and September 2008, his popularity fell significantly; two contributing factors were believed to be his perceived change of mind over plans to call a general election in October 2007 and his handling of the 10p tax rate cut in 2008, which led to allegations of weakness and dithering. His unpopularity led eight Labour MPs to call for a leadership contest in September 2008, less than 15 months into his premiership. The threat of a leadership contest receded due to his perceived strong handling of the global financial crisis in October, but his popularity hit an all-time low and his position became increasingly untenable after the May 2009 expenses scandal and Labour's poor results in the 2009 Local and European elections. Brown's cabinet began to rebel; there were several key resignations in the run up to local elections in June 2009. However, Brown was backed by his party. He faced a second attempt to launch a leadership challenge by former Cabinet colleagues Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt in January 2010, but the plot failed to gather momentum and Brown remained as both Labour leader and Prime Minister to lead his party into the 2010 General Election. The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservative Party winning the largest number of seats. Brown remained as Prime Minister while the Liberal Democrats entered separate negotiations with Labour and the Conservatives with a view to forming a coalition government. He announced his intention to resign on 10 May 2010 to help broker a Labour-Liberal Democrat deal. However, this became increasingly unlikely and on 11 May, Brown announced his resignation as Prime Minister and as Leader of the Labour Party.Premiership of Tony Blair
The premiership of Tony Blair began on 2 May 1997 and ended upon his resignation on 27 June 2007. Whilst serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair concurrently served as the First Lord of the Treasury, the Minister for the Civil Service, the Leader of the Labour Party (until Gordon Brown was declared Labour leader on 24 June 2007) and the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield. He remains a Privy Counsellor, having first been appointed in July 1994 when he became Leader of the Opposition. Blair is the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister, the only Labour Prime Minister to have led the party to victory since 1974, and—having led the party to three consecutive general election victories—also the only Labour Prime Minister to serve two full consecutive terms. Blair is both credited with and criticised for moving the Labour Party towards the centre of British politics, using the term "New Labour" to distinguish his pro-market policies from the more socialist policies which the party had espoused in the past.
In domestic government policy, Blair significantly increased public spending on healthcare and education while also introducing controversial market-based reforms in these areas. In addition, Blair's tenure saw the introduction of a minimum wage, tuition fees for higher education, constitutional reform such as devolution in Scotland and Wales and progress in the Northern Ireland peace process. The UK economy performed well and the real incomes of Britons grew 18% during 1997–2006. Blair kept to Conservative commitments not to increase income tax in the first term although rates of employee's National Insurance (a payroll levy) were increased. He also presided over a significant expansion of the welfare state during his time in office, which led to a significant reduction in relative poverty.Blair ardently supported United States foreign policy, notably by participating in the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.
On 7 September 2006, Blair publicly stated he would step down as party leader by the time of the TUC conference in September 2007. On 10 May 2007, he announced his intention to resign as UK Prime Minister on 27 June 2007.Sarah Jane Brown
Sarah Jane Brown (née Macaulay; born 31 October 1963), usually known as Sarah Brown, is a British campaigner for global health and education, founder and president of the children's charity Theirworld, the Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education and the co-founder of A World at School.She was a founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications, a public relations company. She is married to Gordon Brown, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007 and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010.
Shadow Cabinet positions
|Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer|
24 July 1992 – 2 May 1997
|Preceded by||John Smith|
|Succeeded by||Kenneth Clarke|
|Shadow Secretary of State |
for Trade and Industry
2 November 1989 – 24 July 1992
|Preceded by||Bryan Gould|
|Succeeded by||Robin Cook|
|Shadow President of the Board of Trade|
2 November 1989 – 24 July 1992
|Preceded by||Bryan Gould|
|Succeeded by||Robin Cook|
|Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury|
13 July 1987 – 2 November 1989
|Preceded by||Bryan Gould|
|Succeeded by||Margaret Beckett|
|Shadow Cabinet elections|
|In the media|