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The Right Honourable
 Gordon Brown 
Head and shoulders of a smiling man in a suit and striped tie with dark, greying hair and rounded face with square jaw
Gordon Brown in 2009

Assumed office 
27 June 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Tony Blair

In office
2 May 1997 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Kenneth Clarke
Succeeded by Alistair Darling

In office
18 July 1992 – 2 May 1997
Leader John Smith
Tony Blair
Preceded by John Smith
Succeeded by Kenneth Clarke

Member of Parliament
for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Dunfermline East (1983–2005)
Assumed office 
9 June 1983
Preceded by Constituency Established
Majority 18,216 (43.6%)

Born 20 February 1951 (1951-02-20) (age 59)
Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Sarah Brown
Children Jennifer Jane (Deceased)
John Macaulay
James Fraser
Residence 10 Downing Street (Official)
North Queensferry (Private)[1]
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Religion Church of Scotland[2]
Website Government Website

James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party. Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007, after the resignation of Tony Blair and three days after becoming leader of the governing Labour Party. Immediately before this he had served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour government from 1997 to 2007 under Tony Blair.

Brown has a PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh and spent his early career working as a television journalist.[3][4] He has been a Member of Parliament since 1983; first for Dunfermline East and since 2005 for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.[5][6] As Prime Minister, he also holds the offices of First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service.

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.[7] Controversial moves included the abolition of advance corporation tax (ACT) relief in his first budget,[8][9] and the removal in his final budget of the 10 per cent "starting rate" of personal income tax which he had introduced in 1999.[10]

After an initial rise in opinion polls,[11] Brown's time as Prime Minister has seen his approval ratings fall and the Labour Party suffer its worst local election results in 40 years.[12][13] Despite public and parliamentary pressure on his leadership, he remains leader of the Labour Party.


Early life and career before parliament

Gordon Brown was born at the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.[14][15] His father was John Ebenezer Brown (1914–1998), a minister of the Church of Scotland and a strong influence on Gordon.[16] His mother Jessie Elizabeth Souter, known as Bunty, died in 2004 aged 86.[17] She was the daughter of John Souter, a timber merchant.[18] Gordon was brought up with his brothers John and Andrew Brown in a manse in Kirkcaldy — the largest town in Fife, Scotland across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh.[19] In common with many other notable Scots, he is therefore often referred to as a "son of the manse".[20]

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.[21] At age 16 he wrote that he loathed and resented this "ludicrous" experiment on young lives.[22]

He was accepted by the University of Edinburgh to study history at the same early age of 16. 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 Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and his eye was saved.[23] Brown graduated from Edinburgh with First Class Honours MA in 1972, and stayed on to complete his PhD (which he gained ten years later in 1982), titled The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918-29.[24] In 1972, while still a student, Brown was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh, the convener of the University Court.[25] He served as Rector until 1975, and also edited the document The Red Paper on Scotland.[26]

From 1976 to 1980 Brown was employed as a lecturer in Politics at Glasgow College of Technology. In the 1979 general election, he stood for the Edinburgh South constituency, losing to the Conservative candidate, Michael Ancram.[24] From 1980 he worked as a journalist at Scottish Television, later serving as current affairs editor until his election to parliament in 1983.[27] He also worked as a tutor for the Open University.[28]

Election to parliament and opposition

Gordon Brown was elected to Parliament on his second attempt as a Labour MP for Dunfermline East in 1983 general election and became 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 PhD 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.[24][29] 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.[30]

After the sudden death of Labour leader John Smith in May 1994, Brown did not contest the leadership after Tony Blair became favourite. 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.[31] Whether this is true or not, the relationship between Blair and Brown has been central to the fortunes of "New Labour", and they have mostly remained united in public, despite reported serious private rifts.[32]

As Shadow Chancellor, Brown worked to present himself as a fiscally competent Chancellor-in-waiting, to reassure business and the middle class that Labour could be trusted to run the economy without fuelling inflation, increasing unemployment, or overspending — legacies of the 1970s. 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.[33] During this period, unemployment increased to 7.9%,[34] In 2005 following a reorganisation of parliamentary constituencies in Scotland, Brown became MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath at the 2005 election.[35]

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Gordon Brown standing at a podium. Text on the podium states "annual meetings". A number of flags hang in the background
Gordon Brown speaking at the annual World Bank/IMF meeting in 2002

Brown's ten years and two months as Chancellor of the Exchequer made him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history.[23] 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.[24]

Early macroeconomic reforms

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.[36] 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.[37] Some commentators have argued that this division of responsibilities exacerbated the severity, in Britain, of 2007 global banking crisis.[38]

Taxation and spending

In the 1997 election and subsequently, Brown pledged to not 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.[39] In 1999, he introduced a lower tax band of 10%. He abolished this in his last budget in 2007 to reduce the basic rate from 22% to 20%, increasing tax for 5 million people[40] and, according to the calculations of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, leaving those earning between £5,000 and £18,000 as the biggest losers.[41] According to the OECD UK taxation has increased from a 39.3% share of gross domestic product in 1997 to 42.4% in 2006, going to a higher level than Germany.[42] 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.[43] 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.[44][45]

European single currency

In October 1997, Brown took control of the United Kingdom's membership of the European single currency issue by announcing the Treasury would set five economic tests[46] to ascertain whether the economic case had been made. In June 2003 the Treasury indicated the tests had not been passed.[47]

Other notable issues

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".[48] Lord Jenkins, then Oxford Chancellor and himself a former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, said "nearly every fact he used was false."[49]

Between 1999 and 2002 Brown sold 60% of the UK's gold reserves at $275 an ounce. A frequent criticism of this decision was that an unprecedented rise in the gold price since has resulted in £2 billion of lost potential revenue (at 2007 gold prices). As a result, the period from 1999 to 2002, when gold prices were the lowest for 20 years, has been dubbed the "Brown Bottom".[50]

In 2006 there was some speculation over the link between Brown's brother Andrew and one of the main nuclear lobbyists, EDF Energy,[51] given the finding that the government did not carry a proper public consultation on the use of nuclear power in its 2006 Energy Review.[52]

During his time as Chancellor, Brown was reported to believe that it is appropriate to remove much of the unpayable Third World debt, but does not think that all debt should be erased.[53] On 20 April 2006, in a speech to the United Nations Ambassadors, Brown outlined a "Green" view of global development.[54]

Run up to succeeding Tony Blair

Main articles Labour Party leadership election, 2007 and Timeline for the Labour Party leadership elections, 2007

In October 2004, Tony Blair announced he would not lead the party into a fourth general election, but would serve a full third term.[55] Political comment over the relationship between Brown and Blair continued up to and beyond the 2005 election, which Labour won with a reduced parliamentary majority and reduced vote share. Blair announced on 7 September 2006 that he would step down within a year.[56] 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.[57]

Prime Minister

Brown ceased to be Chancellor and became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 27 June 2007.[5] Like all modern Prime Ministers, Brown concurrently serves as the First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service, and is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. He is also Leader of the Labour Party and Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. He is the sixth post-war prime minister, of a total of 12, to assume the role without having won a general election.[58] Brown is the first prime minister from a Scottish constituency since the Conservative/Conservative/Unionist Sir Alec Douglas-Home in 1964. He is also one of only five prime ministers who attended a university other than Oxford or Cambridge, along with the Earl of Bute (Leiden), Lord John Russell (Edinburgh), Andrew Bonar Law (University of Glasgow), and Neville Chamberlain (Mason Science College, later Birmingham).[59] Brown has 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 wants Parliament to gain the right to ratify treaties and have more oversight into the intelligence services. He has 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 has 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.[60]

During his Labour leadership campaign Brown proposed some policy initiatives which he called 'The manifesto for change.'[61][62] The manifesto included a clampdown on corruption and a new Ministerial Code, which set out clear standards of behaviour for ministers.[63] 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 plans to set up an all-party convention to look at new powers for Parliament. This convention may also look at rebalancing powers between Whitehall and local government. Brown has said he will give Parliament the final say on whether British troops are sent into action in future. Brown said he wants 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% pay rise in 2006. Brown also stated in the manifesto that the NHS was his top priority. There was speculation during September and early October 2007 about whether Brown would call a snap general election. Brown announced that there would be no election in the near future and seemed to rule out an election in 2008. His political opponents accused him of being indecisive, which Brown denied.[64] In July 2008 Brown supported a new bill extending this 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.[65] 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".[66]

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.[67][68]

In 2009, Peter Hitchens discussed at length in his book The Broken Compass how the media portray Brown.[69]

Foreign policy

Gordon Brown and President George W. Bush walk together, flanked on either side by two rows of saluting sailors. In the background is a U.S. military helicopter
Brown with former U.S. President George W. Bush
Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama in the White House

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.[70] Brown said in a letter published on 17 March 2008 that the United Kingdom will hold an inquiry into the Iraq war[71] Brown skipped the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics, on 8 August 2008 in Beijing. He attended the closing ceremony instead, 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, rather made several weeks in advance and not intended as a stand on principle.[72] In November 2007 Brown was accused by some senior military figures of not adhering to the 'military covenant', a convention within British politics stating that in exchange for them putting their lives at risk for the sake of national security, the armed forces should in turn be suitably looked after by the government.[73]

In a speech in July 2007, Brown personally clarified his position regarding Britain's relationship with the USA[74] "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 relationship between Britain and America and 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 the morning of 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.[75][76] 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.[77]

Drug policy

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.[78] Acting against the advice of the Council, she chose to reclassify it as class B.[78] After Professor David Nutt, the chair of the ACMD, criticised this move in a lecture in 2009, he was asked to step down by the current Home Secretary Alan Johnson.[79] Following his resignation, Professor Nutt said Gordon Brown had "made up his mind" to reclassify cannabis despite evidence to the contrary. "I know that my committee was very, very upset by the attitude the prime minister took over cannabis. We actually formally wrote to him to complain about it," he said.[80] Gordon 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".[81][82] Brown's concern about the growing use of skunk cannabis, which he described as "more lethal", was criticised by the professor as being absurd.[80] Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Professor Nutt said, "Until Gordon Brown took office there has never been a recommendation about drug classification from the council that has been rejected by government". The professor'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".[83]

Plots against leadership

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.[84] In the Autumn, Siobhain McDonagh, a MP and junior government whip, who during her time in office had never voted against the government,[85] 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.[86] 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.[87] 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.[88] The deputy Prime Minister under Blair, John Prescott, also pledged his support.[89] 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.[90] 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.[91]

By-elections and 2009 local and European elections

Gordon Brown shakes hands with Vladimir Putin
Gordon Brown meeting then-Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006

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.[92] 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 have all derided the party 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".[93] 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%.[94]

In the European elections, Labour polled 16% of the vote, finishing in third place behind the Conservatives and United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).[95] 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.[96] 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. Gordon 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."[12][97]

Depictions in popular culture

In keeping with its tradition of having a comic strip for every Prime Minister Private Eye features a comic strip, The Broonites (itself a parody of The Broons), parodying Brown's government. Private Eye also has a column titled Prime Ministerial Decree,[98] a parody of statements that would be issued by Communist governments in the former Eastern Bloc.[99]

Brown was depicted in Season 13 of South Park when world leaders plot to steal money from aliens in order to deal with the global recession, in the episode "Pinewood Derby".[100] He also makes an appearance in the first issue of Marvel Comics' Captain Britain and MI: 13, overseeing Britain's response to the Skrull invasion of Earth.[101]

Personal life and family

Brown's early girlfriends included the journalist Sheena McDonald and Princess Margarita, the eldest daughter of exiled King Michael of Romania.[29] Brown married Sarah Macaulay in a private ceremony at his home in North Queensferry, Fife, on 3 August 2000.[102] They have two children, John Macaulay[103] and James Fraser. In November 2006, James Fraser was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.[104] On 28 December 2001 a daughter, Jennifer Jane, was born prematurely and died on 7 January 2002. Gordon Brown commented at the time that their recent experiences had changed him and his wife. Sarah Brown rarely makes official appearances either with or without her husband. She is inevitably much sought after to give interviews.[105] She is, however, patron of several charities and has written articles for national newspapers related to this.[106] At the 2008 Labour Party Conference Mrs Brown caused surprise by taking to the stage to introduce her husband for his keynote address.[107] Since then, her public profile has increased.[108]

He 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.[51] The Browns spend some of their spare time at Chequers, the house often being filled with friends. They have also entertained local dignitaries like Sir Leonard Figg.[109] 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."[110]


The son of a Church of Scotland minister, Brown has talked about what he called his "moral compass"[111] and to his parents being his "inspiration".[112] He is seemingly keen to keep his religion a private matter.[113] According to the Guardian, he is a member of the Church of Scotland.[114]

In April 2009, Brown gave what was the first ever speech by a serving Prime Minister at St Paul's Cathedral in London. He referred to a 'single powerful modern sense demanding responsibility from all and fairness to all'. He also talked about the Christian doctrine of 'do to others what you would have them do unto you', which he compared to similar principles in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. He went on, 'They each and all reflect a sense that we share the pain of others, and a sense that we believe in something bigger than ourselves—that we cannot be truly content while others face despair, cannot be completely at ease while others live in fear, cannot be satisfied while others are in sorrow," and continued, "We all feel, regardless of the source of our philosophy, the same deep moral sense that each of us is our brother and sisters' keeper... [W]e cannot and will not pass by on the other side when people are suffering and when we have it within our power to help.'[115]


Brown first thought of himself as being 'Labour' and his sense of social injustice was roused when he accompanied his father on visits around Kirkcaldy seeing the pain of unemployment and the misery of poverty and squalor as the mining and textile industries collapsed. Growing up he discovered Tawney, Tressell, Cole and other socialist texts which inspired him. He also found inspiration in Blake in poetry, Potter in drama, Lawrence in literature and the socialist leader James Maxton in Scottish history. These, he argues, fuelled his passion and activism, reinforcing his own political experience. For Brown the ethical basis of British socialism has several themes: the view that individuals are not primarily self-centered rather they are co-operative and that people are more likely to thrive in communities in which they play a full role; that people have talents and potential that the free market will not allow to be fully realised; but the most enduring theme, for Brown, is the commitment to equality.[116][117]

Titles, honours and awards

Until 1982 Gordon Brown was formally known as "Mr. James Gordon Brown". Upon completing his PhD[3] he was called "Dr. James Gordon Brown". In 1983 he was elected to parliament as MP for Dunfermline East[118] and was styled "Dr. James Gordon Brown MP". In June 1996 he was appointed as a member of the Privy Council,[119] and was sworn in at a meeting of the Council on 23 July 1996.[120] Since becoming a Privy Councillor he has been known formally as The Rt Hon Dr. James Gordon Brown MP. In common with other members he will retain the "Rt Hon" prefix for life, unless he chooses to resign from the Privy Council.

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 stabilize the world’s financial system."[121][122]

See also

Electoral history:



  1. ^ MacLeod, Catherine (14 August 2007). "Brown to work from home". The Herald (Newsquest). Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  2. ^ ""Brown, a member of the Church of Scotland..."". The Guardian. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Kearney, Martha (14 March 2005). "Brown seeks out 'British values'". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  4. ^ "The Gordon Brown story". BBC News (BBC). 27 June 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Brown is UK's new prime minister". BBC News (BBC). 27 June 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Gordon Brown". BBC News (BBC). 19 November 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Memorandum of Understanding between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority". HM Treasury, Bank of England, FSA. 1997. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  8. ^ Halligan, Liam (16 October 2006). "Brown's raid on pensions costs Britain £100 billion". Telegraph.'s-raid-on-pensions-costs-Britain-andpound100-billion.html. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Pension blame falls on Brown". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  10. ^ "Q&A: 10p tax rate cut". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  11. ^ "New British PM gives party biggest poll lead in two years". The Philippine Star. 
  12. ^ a b "Labour suffers wipeout in its worst local election results". London: The Times. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Labour slumps to historic defeat, BBC News, 8 June 2009
  14. ^ "I could still be prime minister, says Brown". The Independant. January 19, 1998. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  15. ^ Birth certificate of James Gordon Brown, 20th February 1951, Newton Mearns District, Renfrewshire 571/02 0053 - General Register Office for Scotland
  16. ^ "Chancellor's daughter remembered at christening service". The Scotsman. 23 April 2004. Retrieved 23 September 2007. 
  17. ^ "Brown mourns loss of mother". The Scotsman. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 23 September 2007. 
  18. ^ "Family detective". 
  19. ^ "From a Scottish manse to Number 10". The Washington Times. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2007. 
  20. ^ "The making of Gordon Brown". The Telegraph. June 9th, 2007. Retrieved December 27th, 2009. "The next prime minister is always referred to as a 'son of the manse'" 
  21. ^ "Chancellor on the ropes; Profile: Gordon Brown". The Independent (London). 23 September 2000. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  22. ^ Ben Macintyre (19 May 2007). "‘Cruel’ experiment that left its mark on a very precocious boy". London: The Times. Retrieved 13 July 2007. 
  23. ^ a b Mackenzie, Suzie (25 September 2004). "Will he? Won't he?". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  24. ^ a b c d ""Biography of the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury"". Retrieved 21 June 2009.  See also: Iain MacLean, Alistair MacMillan (2005). "State of the Union: Unionism and the Alternatives in the United Kingdom". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 September 2007. 
  25. ^ Brown's first taste of power BBC News 15 July 2005
  26. ^ "Life on the ante-eurodiluvian Left". the guardian. 5 October 2000. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  27. ^ "Brown's Journey from Reformism to Neoliberalism" John Newsinger International Socialism 115 (summer 2007)
  28. ^ Gordon Brown's TUC speech in full (to the 2007 TUC Congress)
  29. ^ a b The Gordon Brown Story BBC News
  30. ^ Wright, Kenyon (4 April 1999). "Scotland can sing a new song to a different tune and in a clear voice". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 1 March 2008. "... 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." 
  31. ^ White, Michael (6 June 2003). "The guarantee which came to dominate new Labour politics for a decade". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 1 March 2008.  See also: Mayer, Catherine (16 January 2005). "Fight Club". Time.,9171,901050124-1018039-2,00.html. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  32. ^ Wheeler, Brian (10 May 2007). "The Tony Blair story". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  33. ^ National Statistics Online
  34. ^ National Statistics Online
  35. ^ "The Guardian 2005 election results for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath".,9338,-1059,00.html. 
  36. ^ "Five years on: Rating the MPC, ''BBC News'', 6 June 2002". BBC News. 6 June 2002. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  37. ^ "News Release". 6 May 1997. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  38. ^ "Gordon Brown and Treasury accused on banking crisis". London: times online. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  39. ^ Adam, S. and J. Browne: A survey of the UK tax systemPDF (2.74 MB) (Google cache HTML), Institute for Fiscal Studies, Briefing note No. 9, March 2006
  40. ^ Grice, Andrew (4 April 2008). "Brown faces revolt over scrapping 10p income tax band". The Independent. Retrieved 20 April 2008. 
  41. ^ Isabel Oakeshott and David Leppard (20 April 2008). "Gordon Brown cornered as rebellion over 10p tax reform grows". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  42. ^ OECD: General Government Outlays as percentage of GDP (Microsoft Office Excel table)
  43. ^ Halligan, Liam (16 October 2006). "Brown's raid on pensions costs Britain £100 billion". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  44. ^ More get tax credit overpayments BBC News, 31 May 2006
  45. ^ The impact of tax and benefit changes between April 2000 and April 2003 on parents' labour supply Blundell, R., M. Brewer and A. Shepherd, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Briefing Note No. 52, 2004
  46. ^ Glover, Julian (29 September 2000). "The five tests". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  47. ^ UK 'not yet ready for the euro' BBC, 9 June 2003
  48. ^ "Oxford 'reject' wins Harvard scholarship". BBC News (BBC). 22 May 2000. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  49. ^ "Peers condemn Oxford attack". BBC News (BBC). 15 June 2000. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  50. ^ "Goldfinger Brown’s £2 billion blunder in the bullion market". London: times online. 15 April 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  51. ^ a b The powerful business of promoting a nuclear future, Terry Macalister 11 July 2006, The Guardian
  52. ^ Nuclear review 'was misleading', BBC News, 15 February 2007
  53. ^ "Gordon Brown answers your questions". BBC News (BBC). 15 June 1999. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  54. ^ "Gordon Brown's speech, to United Nations Ambassadors, New York, 20th April 2006". H.M.Treasury. Retrieved october 17th, 2009. 
  55. ^ "Blair: I will serve a full third term". guardian. 21 October 2004. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  56. ^ Cowell, Alan (8 September 2006). "Blair to Give Up Post as Premier Within One Year". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 10 July 2007. 
  57. ^ Fabian Society (15 January 2007). "Make education our national mission". Press release. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  58. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy (25 June 2007). "Brown's Ascendency". ABC Radio National Perspective. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  59. ^ "Are you Statistically Prepared to Become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?". BBC — h2g2. BBC. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  60. ^ "Gordon Brown's big idea". The Economist. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  61. ^ "Gordon’s manifesto for change". The Times (London). 13 May 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  62. ^ "Poll surge as Brown unveils policy blitz". The Observer. 13 May 2007.,,2078595,00.html. 
  63. ^ "Brown sets out reform proposals". BBC. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2008. 
  64. ^ "BBC News — Brown rules out autumn election"". 6 October 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2007. 
  65. ^ ""The Times — Labour denies Keith Vaz offered 'reward' for backing government"". London. Retrieved 2 July 2008.  See also: ""The Guardian — There were no deals over 42 day vote, insists Brown"". Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  66. ^ Jacqui Smith creates 'emergency bill' after 42-day detention defeat, The Daily Telegraph, 14 October 2008
  67. ^ "MPs' expenses: the true story of Gordon Brown, the cleaner and my husband | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  68. ^ "MPs' expenses claims — key details". BBC News. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  69. ^ Hitchens, Peter (2009). The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost its Way. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.. ISBN 1847064051.  – see chapter 1, Guy Fawkes Gets a Blackberry
  70. ^ Jones, George (12 June 2007). "The subtle shift in British foreign policy". Retrieved 23 September 2007. 
  71. ^ "There will be a public inquiry into Iraq, says Brown". independent. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  72. ^ "PM not attending Olympics opening". bbc online. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  73. ^ ""The Independent — Renew the Military Covenant"". Retrieved 11 November 2007. 
  74. ^ "Speech not critical of US — Brown". BBC. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007. 
  75. ^ ""The Times — Gordon Brown attacked on all sides for 'running away' from referendum"". London. Retrieved 23 October 2007. 
  76. ^ "Cameron attacks Brown on EU vote". BBC News. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2008. 
  77. ^ "The Times — Battle of the EU treaty to last for months". London. Retrieved 19 October 2007. 
  78. ^ a b
  79. ^
  80. ^ a b Batty, David (31 October 2009). Professor David Nutt warns resignations may result from prime minister's 'absurd' stance on reclassification. The Guardian.
  81. ^ Brown says message must be sent on cannabis, Reuters, 20 April 2008.
  82. ^ Oates, John (29 April 2008). Brown opts for morality over science on 'lethal skunk'. The Register.
  83. ^ "Sacked adviser criticises Brown". The BBC. 31 October 2009. Retrieved October 31st, 2009. 
  84. ^ ""The Independent- Cabinet backs Brown but 'Lancashire plot' sparks open warfare"". Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  85. ^ "Profile: Siobhain McDonagh". BBC News. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  86. ^ "Whip sacked over leader bid call". BBC News. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008. 
  87. ^ Jonathan Oliver, Marie Woolf (14 September 2008). "Ex-ministers join Gordon Brown rebellion". London: The Times. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  88. ^ "Harman denies planning leader bid". BBC News. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  89. ^ "Prescott warns over PM challenge". BBC News. 27 July 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  90. ^ "Miliband denies 'leadership' bid". BBC News. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  91. ^ "Miliband throws support behind PM". BBC News. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  92. ^ "Labour suffers big council losses". BBC. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  93. ^ "Labour MSP joins by-election race". BBC. 5 July 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2008. 
  94. ^ "SNP stuns Labour in Glasgow East". bbc online. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  95. ^ "UK | UK Politics | Labour slumps to historic defeat". BBC News. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  96. ^ "Election 2009 | Councils A-Z". BBC News. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  97. ^ "salomond hails historic euro win". bbc online. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  98. ^ "Decree From the Supreme Leader". 
  99. ^ Assinder, Nick.Brown's Budget trick, BBC News, 21 March 2007.
  100. ^ "Gordon Brown features in latest episode of South Park". Mirror. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  101. ^ Prime Minister turns comic book hero, The Sunday Mail 1 June 2008.
  102. ^ "Gordon and Sarah wed at home:". BBC News (London). 3 August 2000. Retrieved 23 September 2007. 
  103. ^ "Chancellor's daughter remembered at christening service". 
  104. ^ "Brown's son has cystic fibrosis". bbc online. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2009. 
  105. ^ "Wife will seek to stay out of the limelight". Daily Telegraph. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2007. 
  106. ^ Brown, Sarah (11 November 2006). "Why I want you to get behind Maggie's". The Scotsman. Retrieved 25 May 2008. 
  107. ^ "Sarah Brown steps into spotlight". BBC News. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2008. 
  108. ^ "Glamorous Life of the PM's Wife". BBC News. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  109. ^ "Alice Thomson, No PM, However Dour, can Resist the Charms of a Stately Pile, The Times, 24 July 2008". London. 
  110. ^ "Gordon Brown — The 2009 TIME 100". TIME Magazine.,28804,1894410_1893847_1894201,00.html. Retrieved 1 May 2009. 
  111. ^ "Gordon Brown: 'I joined this party as a teenager ... Its values are my moral compass'". The Independant. Retrieved October 26th, 2009. 
  112. ^ "Gordon Brown: Leadership speech in full". Retrieved October 26th, 2009. 
  113. ^ "Profile Gordon Brown". Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  114. ^ "Pope accepts Gordon Brown's invitation to visit Britain next year". The Guardian. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  115. ^ "Brown DOES do God as he calls for new world order in sermon at St Paul's". The Dsaily Mail. Retrieved October 26th, 2009. 
  116. ^ Gordon Brown (1995) The aim of the rose, The Independent on Sunday, 18 June
  117. ^ Brown, Gordon (ed.); Wright, Tony (ed.) (1995). Values, Visions and Voices: An Anthology of Socialism.
  118. ^ "BBC Wales - Ps - Hall of Fame - Gordon Brown". Ps. BBC Wales. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  119. ^ "Ex-BBC chief and child health professor among life peers", The Guardian, 15 June 1996, p. 6.
  120. ^ "Court Circular", The Times, 24 July 1996.
  121. ^ "US foundation names Gordon Brown world statesman of the year". the guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  122. ^ "ACF to Honor British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with 2009 World Statesman Awar". Retrieved 15 August 2009. 



  • Bower, Tom (2003). Gordon Brown. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-717540-6. 
  • Jefferys, Kevin (2002). Labour forces from Ernie Bevin to Gordon Brown. IB Taurus Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4175-1633-9. 
  • Keegan, William (2003). The Prudence of Mr. Gordon Brown. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-84697-1. 
  • Naughtie, James (2001). The Rivals: The Intimate Story of a Political Marriage. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1-84115-473-2. 
  • Peston, Robert (2005). Brown's Britain: How Gordon Runs the Show. Short Books. ISBN 978-1-904095-67-5. 
  • Rosen, Greg (ed.) (2002). Dictionary of Labour Biography. Methuen. ISBN 978-1-902301-18-1. 
  • Routledge, Paul (1998). Gordon Brown: The Biography. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-81954-9. 


  • Pym, Hugh; Kochan, Nick (1998). Gordon Brown the First Year in Power. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-3701-4. 
  • Rawnsley, Andrew (2001). Servants of the people:The inside story of New Labour. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-027850-7. 
  • Rosen, Greg (2005). Old Labour to New:The Dreams that Inspired, the Battles that Divided. Politicos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84275-045-2. 
  • Routledge, Paul (2003). Bumper Book of British Lefties. Politicos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84275-064-3. 

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Jonathon Wills
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Magnús Magnússon
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Dunfermline East (19832005)

Political offices
Preceded by
John Smith
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Kenneth Clarke
Preceded by
Kenneth Clarke
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Alistair Darling
Second Lord of the Treasury
Preceded by
Tony Blair
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Minister for the Civil Service
First Lord of the Treasury
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tony Blair
Leader of the Labour Party
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded by
Jack Straw
as Lord Chancellor
as Prime Minister
Succeeded by
John Bercow
as Speaker of the House of Commons
Order of precedence Scotland and Northern Ireland
Preceded by
John Sentamu
as Archbishop of York
as Prime Minister
Succeeded by
John Bercow
as Speaker of the House of Commons


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

James Gordon Brown (born February 20, 1951) is a British politician who has been Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since June 27, 2007. First involved in politics when at Edinburgh University when he was elected as the first student Rector, Brown was elected to Parliament in 1983 and shared an office with Tony Blair where they formed a political partnership. He opted not to fight Blair for the leadership in 1994. He was the Labour Party's treasury spokesman since 1992, and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997.



  • There are as many Scottish roads to Socialism as there are predictions of Britain's economic doom - but most of them demand three things: a coherent plan for an extension of democracy and control in society and industry which sees every reform as a means to creating a socialist society; a harnessing of the forces for industrial and community self-management within a political movement; and a massive programme of education by the Labour Movement as a whole.

    Gramsci's relevance to Scotland today is in his emphasis that in a society which is both mature and complex, where the total social and economic processes are geared to maintaining the production of goods and services (and the reproduction of the conditions of production), then the transition to socialism must be made by the majority of the people themselves and a socialist society must be created within the womb of existing society and prefigured in the movements for democracy at the grass roots. Socialists must neither place their faith in an Armageddon or of capitalist collapse nor in nationalisation alone. For the Jacobin notion of a vanguard making revolution on behalf of working people relates to a backward society (and prefigures an authoritarian and bureaucratic state), then the complexity of modern society requires a far reaching movement of people and existing conditions and as a co-ordinator for the assertion of social priorities by people at a community level and control by producers at an industrial level. In such a way political power will become a synthesis of – not a substitute for – community and industrial life.

    This requires from the Labour Movement in Scotland today a postive commitment to creating a socialist society, a coherant strategy with rhythm and modality to each reform to cancel the logic of capitalism and a programme of immediate aims which leads out of one social order into another. Such a social reorganisation - a phased extension of public control under workers' sustained and enlarged, would in EP Thompson's words lead to "a crisis not of despair and disintegration but a crisis in which the necessity for a peaceful revolutionary transition to an alternative socialist logic became daily more evident."
    • Introduction to "The Red Paper On Scotland", 1975.

Member of Parliament

  • Our new economic approach is rooted in ideas which stress the importance of macro-economics, post neo-classical endogenous growth theory and the symbiotic relationships between growth and investment, and people and infrastructure.
    • Michael White, "The gift of tired tongues", The Guardian, 30 September 1994; Norman Macrae, "You've never had it so incoherent", Sunday Times, 2 October 1994.
    • Speech at an economic seminar, Tuesday 27 September 1994.

Chancellor of the Exchequer

  • My first rule – the golden rule – ensures that over the economic cycle the Government will borrow only to invest, and that current spending will be met from taxation.
    • Hansard, 6 ser, vol 297 col 304 (2 July 1997)
    • From the Brown's first Budget speech.
  • I said that this would be a Budget based on prudence for a purpose and that guides us also in our approach to public spending.
    • Hansard, 6 ser, vol 308 col 111 (17 March 1998)
    • From the 1998 Budget speech.
  • David Blunkett and I both take the same view that it is scandalous that someone from North Tyneside, Laura Spence, with the best qualifications and who wants to be a doctor, should be turned down by Oxford University using an interview system more reminiscent of the old school network and the old school tie than justice. It is about time for an end to that old Britain where what matters more are the privileges you are born with, rather than the potential you actually have.
    • Alexandra Frean, John O'Leary, Philip Webster, "Brown goes to war over Oxford elite", The Times, 26 May 2000, p. 1.
    • Speech at a Trade Union Congress meeting, 25 May 2000.
  • Politics seems much less important today. When you see your young daughter smiling as she was, and moving around, it's a superb feeling.
    • Colin Wills, "'This will be a big change in my life .. politics is now less important' says new dad Gordon Brown", Sunday Mirror, 30 December, 2001, p. 4
    • Press conference on the birth of his first daughter, Jennifer Jane Brown, 29 December 2001; she died nine days later.
  • I'm here – but I haven't been given permission to drive.
    • George Pascoe-Watson, "I wannabe No10 pilot", The Sun, 19 May 2006, p. 2
    • Response to question by Sky News journalist "Do you like the feeling of being in the driving seat?" when in the Cockpit of an Airbus A380 on 18 May 2006.
  • I understand that in the UK there have already been 10,000 complaints from viewers about these remarks, which people see, rightly, as offensive. I want Britain to be seen as a country of fairness and tolerance. Anything detracting from this I condemn.
    • Alexa Barcia, Shekhar Bhatia, "C4 bosses under fire in race row", Evening Standard, 17 January 2007, p. 4
    • Asked about racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother, during a visit to India on 16 January 2007.
  • I want to lead a government humble enough to know its place – where I will always strive to be – and that is on people's side.
  • It is time to train British workers for the British jobs that will be available over the coming few years and to make sure that people who are inactive and unemployed are able to get the new jobs on offer in our country.
    • "Brown pledges 'British workers for British jobs'", Evening Standard, 5 June 2007, p. 1
    • Speech to the GMB Union, 5 June 2007

Prime Minister

  • I have just accepted the invitation of Her Majesty The Queen to form a Government. This will be a new Government with new priorities and I have been privileged to have been granted the great opportunity to serve my country and at all times I will be strong in purpose, steadfast in will, resolute in action in the service of what matters to the British people, meeting the concerns and aspirations of our whole country.
  • On this day I remember words that have stayed with me since my childhood and which matter a great deal to me today, my school motto: "I will try my outmost". This is my promise to all of the people of Britain and now let the work of change begin.
    • Statement at Downing Street, 27 June 2007
    • Statement outside 10 Downing Street immediately after becoming Prime Minister. The motto referred to is an English translation of the Latin Usque conabor. Brown said "outmost", as spelled on the BBC News transcript, but other sources usually give "utmost".
  • I think Mrs Thatcher, Lady Thatcher, saw the need for change and I think whatever disagreements you have with her about certain policies - there was a large amount of unemployment at the time which perhaps could have been dealt with better – we have got to understand that she saw the need for change. I also admire the fact that she is a conviction politician. She stands very clearly for principles. I believe, and I have said before, that I am also a conviction politician. I am convinced about certain things, that we have got to support the talent of every individual in the country, that people have got to respect other people, that we have got to have a work ethic that works, that we have got to have discipline, as I have said, in our communities, and that is the only way with families working well and communities well, that we can do well as a country. So I am a conviction politician like her, and I think many people will see Mrs Thatcher as not only a person who saw the need for change in our country and took big decisions to achieve that, but also is and remains a conviction politician, true to the beliefs that she holds.
  • What has become clear is that Britain cannot trust the Conservatives to run the economy. Everyone knows that I'm all in favour of apprenticeships, but let me tell you this is no time for a novice.
  • Good strong banks are essential for every family and for every business in the country and extraordinary times call for the bold and far-reaching solutions that the Treasury has announced today.
    • Press Conference, 8 October 2008, announcing the policy of buying shares in banks in order to prevent the spread of the financial crisis.
  • The calendar says we are half way from 2000 to 2015.But the reality is that we are we are a million miles away from success.
    • Speechat the New York UN headquarters in July, 2007
  • 56,000 companies have already benefited from the schemes that we have brought in. If we have taken the advice of the Conservative Party, no money would have been used. As Barack Obama said only yesterday, doing nothing is not an option.


  • There is nothing that you could say to me now that I could ever believe.
    • Melissa Kite, "Revealed: Brown's furious response to Blair after PM reneged on his promises to quit last year", Sunday Telegraph, 9 January 2005, p. 1
    • According to Brown's biographer Robert Peston, Brown made this remark to Tony Blair in October 2004 when Blair announced his intention to fight for a third term of government, after telling Brown he intended to stand down.


  • The next election will be a flyweight versus a heavyweight. However much the right hon. Gentleman (David Cameron) may dance around the ring beforehand, at some point, he will come within the reach of a big clunking fist.
    • Hansard, House of Commons, 6th series, vol. 453, col. 29 (15 November 2006)
    • Tony Blair, speaking in the House of Commons; the term 'big clunking fist' was taken as a reference to Brown.
  • The House has noticed the Prime Minister's remarkable transformation in the past few weeks, from Stalin to Mr. Bean.
    • Hansard, House of Commons, 6th series, vol. 468, col. 275 (28 November 2007)
    • Vincent Cable, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats.
  • Luckily for the world economy, however, Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense. And they may have shown us the way through this crisis.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

The Right Honourable
 Gordon Brown MP
File:Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown in 2005

In office
27 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Tony Blair
Succeeded by David Cameron

In office
2 May 1997 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Kenneth Clarke
Succeeded by Alistair Darling

Member of Parliament
for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Dunfermline East (1983-2005)
Assumed office 
9 June 1983
Preceded by New Constituency
Majority 18,216 (43.6%)

Born 20 February 1951 (age 60)
Govan Glasgow, Scotland
Political party Labour
Spouse Sarah Macaulay (m. 2000-present)
Children Jennifer (deceased), John, James
Residence 10 Downing Street (2007-2010)
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation Politician
Profession Academic
Religion Church of Scotland
Signature File:Gordon Brown's
Website 10 Downing Street

James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and was the leader of the British Labour Party. He is the Labour MP Representative for the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath UK Constituency.

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland and is married to Sarah Macaulay. Their daughter Jennifer Jane died as a baby. They have two sons, John Macaulay and James Fraser. Brown is blind in his left eye after a sports injury but he has a replacement eye made of glass.

Brown took over as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after Tony Blair resigned on 27 June 2007. Before this, he had been Chancellor of the Exchequer since May 1997.

Brown has a PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh. He spent his early career working as a television journalist.[1][2] He has been a Member of Parliament since 1983. At the beginning for Dunfermline East and since 2005 for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.[3][4] As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he was also First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service.

Brown's time as Chancellor was marked by major reform of Britain's financial and fiscal policy architecture. For example was the interest rate setting power transferred to the Bank of England. This was done by a wide extension of the powers of the Treasury to cover much domestic policy and by giving the responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority.[5] Controversial moves included the abolition of Advance Corporation Tax (ACT) relief in his first budget,[6][7] and the removal in his final budget of the 10 per cent "starting rate" of personal income tax which he had introduced in 1999.[8]

After an initial rise in opinion polls,[9] Brown's time as Prime Minister has seen his approval ratings fall. The Labour Party suffered its worst local election results in 40 years.[10][11] Despite public and parliamentary pressure on his leadership, he remained leader of the Labour Party. He announced on the 6 April 2010 that there would be a general election on 6 May 2010, in which Labour came second, with 258 seats. Brown resigned, allowing Conservative leader David Cameron to become Prime Minister.


  1. Kearney, Martha (14 March 2005). "Brown seeks out 'British values'". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  2. "The Gordon Brown story". BBC News (BBC). 27 June 2007. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  3. "Brown is UK's new prime minister". BBC News (BBC). 27 June 2007. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  4. "Gordon Brown". BBC News (BBC). 19 November 2007. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  5. "Memorandum of Understanding between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority". HM Treasury, Bank of England, FSA. 1997. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  6. Halligan, Liam (16 October 2006). "Brown's raid on pensions costs Britain £100 billion". Telegraph.'s-raid-on-pensions-costs-Britain-andpound100-billion.html. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  7. "Pension blame falls on Brown". The Guardian. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  8. "Q&A: 10p tax rate cut". The Guardian. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  9. "New British PM gives party biggest poll lead in two years". The Philippine Star. 
  10. "Labour suffers wipeout in its worst local election results". The Times. Retrieved 17-10-2009. 
  11. Labour slumps to historic defeat, BBC News, 8 June 2009

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