Thursday, 17 May 2007

Brown Will Be New Leader of Labour and Prime Minister

Mr Brown's campaign said they would await the formal voting figures announced by the party on Thursday before making any statement however, shortly after 6pm yesterday, Gordon Brown reached the crucial total of 308 nominations needed to avoid a contest. The chancellor's only rival, John McDonnell, conceded after Mr Brown secured enough nominations from Labour MPs to stop him getting the 45 needed. Gordon Brown will be confirmed as Tony Blair's successor when nominations for the Labour leadership and deputy leadership close at 1230 BST.

Brown has achieved his long standing goal of becoming Labour Leader and Prime Minister. He will now have to wait a further 42 days before Tony Blair formally hands over the reins of power. Meanwhile, in Whitehall the transition to a Brown premiership has begun. Officials are currently working on Mr Brown's blueprint for power and preparing for a radical Cabinet reshuffle.

Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell said the fact Mr Brown would be unopposed meant it was even more important that there was a General Election. "The country is surely entitled to pass judgement on whether he should become the most powerful politician in the country," he said.

Campbell has a point. Even though Brown has made promises to improve education standards, an extension of GPs' hours and a house building programme when he takes over is that really enough? Promises are very easy to make and we will have to wait and see if he actually follows through with them. Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath. The greater question is, do the British people want Brown in office at all or, as Campbell said, are we "entitled to pass judgement on whether he should become the most powerful politician in the country?"

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