Brown launches bid to become next leader
GORDON Brown has made a formal bid to become Labour's next leader. As Tony Blair toured the new Wembley Stadium and watched the unveiling of a statue to World Cup hero Sir Bobby Moore, Mr Brown claimed he had “new ideas for a new time.
By Graham Dines
GORDON Brown has made a formal bid to become Labour's next leader. As Tony Blair toured the new Wembley Stadium and watched the unveiling of a statue to World Cup hero Sir Bobby Moore, Mr Brown claimed he had “new ideas for a new time.”
Mr Brown said: “Let me set out simply my core belief. The Britain I believe in is a Britain of fairness and opportunity for all British citizens.
“If you work hard you are better off, if you save you are rewarded, if you play by the rules we will stand by you. These are for me the best of British values: responsibilities required in return for rights, fairness not just for some but for all who earn it.”
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Mr Brown said: “So I say to my party, we have always served the country best when at every point we start from the concerns, the struggles and the rising aspirations of hard-working families and I say to the country, your priorities will be my driving purpose.”
The Chancellor pledged to restore Parliament to its rightful place in British democracy - a far cry from its largely sidelining by the spin obsessed, media orientated Blair regime.
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“Just as my first act as Chancellor of the Exchequer was to give away power to the Bank of England to restore trust in economic policy, so one of my first acts as Prime Minister would be to restore power to Parliament in order to build the trust of the British people in our democracy. Government must be more open and more accountable to Parliament.
“For example, in decisions about peace and war, in public appointments and in a new ministerial code of conduct.
“Over the coming months I want to build a shared national consensus for a programme of constitutional reform that strengthens the accountability of all who hold power, that is clear about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in Britain today, that defends the union, and is vigilant about ensuring the hard-won liberties of the individual for which Britain has for centuries been renowned round the world, are at all times upheld, without relenting in our attack on terrorism.”
In another rebuke for the Blair era, Mr Brown said: “I do not believe politics is about celebrity. When you put yourself forward for leadership the country has a right to know where you come from, what you believe in and what you want to achieve.”
On Iraq, he accepted mistake had been made but added: “We will keep our obligations to the Iraqi people. These are obligations that are part of UN resolutions. They are in support of a democracy. I do think that over the next few months the emphasis will shift. We have got to concentrate more on political reconciliation in Iraq.”