Brown keen to seek deal with Clegg

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has made an appeal to Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg today, offering legislation on a referendum on electoral reform in return for a deal which could keep him in Downing Street.

In a statement outside the door of Number 10, Mr Brown said he respected Mr Clegg’s decision to talk first to Conservative leader David Cameron on a possible coalition, but stressed that Labour and the Liberal Democrats share “common ground” not only on voting reform but also on the economy.

He said he was willing to any of the party leaders in the wake of the hung parliament and said they had a responsibility to “make it work for the national good”.

The Prime Minister made clear he does not expect a swift conclusion to the uncertainty surrounding the result of yesterday’s election, stating that negotiations between the parties could be “prolonged”.

And in a sign that Labour remains very much in power for the time being, he revealed that Chancellor Alistair Darling will take part in conference call talks today with fellow G7 finance ministers on the crisis in the euro area.

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Currently, the Conservatives have 301 seats - short of the majority target of 326 - while Labour have 255 and the Liberal Democrats 55.

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