Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

James Gordon Brown HonFRSE (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the UK and Chief of the Labour Celebration from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer within the Blair authorities 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. He’s the newest Labour politician and most up-to-date Scottish politician to carry the workplace of Prime Minister.

A doctoral graduate, Brown learn historical past on the College of Edinburgh, the place he was elected Rector in 1972. He spent his early profession working as each a lecturer at an additional training school and a tv journalist. He entered the British Home of Commons in 1983 because the MP for Dunfermline East. He joined the Shadow Cupboard in 1989 as Shadow Secretary of State for Commerce, and was later promoted to develop into Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1992. After Labour’s victory in 1997, he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, changing into the longest-serving holder of that workplace in fashionable historical past.

Brown’s tenure as Chancellor was marked by main reform of Britain’s financial and financial coverage structure, transferring rate of interest setting powers to the Financial institution of England, by a large extension of the powers of the Treasury to cowl a lot home coverage and by transferring duty for banking supervision to the Monetary Providers Authority. Brown presided over the longest interval of sustained financial development in British historical past,[1][2] however this grew to become more and more depending on mounting debt, and a part of this development interval began beneath the previous Conservative authorities in 1993. He outlined 5 financial exams which resisted the UK adopting the euro foreign money. Controversial strikes included the abolition of advance company tax (ACT) aid in his first price range,[3][4] the sale of UK gold reserves from 1999 to 2002, and the elimination in his ultimate price range of the ten{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} “beginning fee” of private revenue tax which he had launched in 1999.[5] In 2007, Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister and Labour Chief, and Brown was elected unopposed to interchange him.

Brown’s authorities launched rescue packages in 2008 and 2009 to assist preserve the banks afloat in the course of the international monetary disaster, and consequently the UK’s nationwide debt elevated dramatically. The Authorities took majority shareholdings in Northern Rock and Royal Financial institution of Scotland, each of which skilled monetary difficulties, and injected massive quantities of cash into a number of different banks, together with Lloyds Banking Group, which shaped by means of the acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds TSB in 2009. In 2008, Brown’s authorities handed the world’s first Local weather Change Act, and launched the Equality Act in 2010. Regardless of preliminary rises in opinion polls after Brown grew to become Prime Minister, Labour’s recognition declined with the onset of a recession in 2008, resulting in poor leads to the native and European elections in 2009.[6][7][8] Within the 2010 normal election, Labour misplaced 91 seats, the occasion’s greatest lack of seats in a single normal election since 1931,[9] leading to a hung parliament through which the Conservatives have been the most important occasion. After the Conservative Celebration shaped a coalition authorities with the Liberal Democrats, Brown was succeeded as Prime Minister by David Cameron. Brown later performed a distinguished function within the marketing campaign to keep up the union in the course of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.[10]


Brown was born on the Orchard Maternity Nursing House in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.[11][12] His father was John Ebenezer Brown (1914–1998), a minister of the Church of Scotland and a robust affect on Brown.[13] His mom was Jessie Elizabeth “Bunty” Brown (née Souter; 1918–2004);[14] she was the daughter of John Souter, a timber service provider.[15] The household moved to Kirkcaldy – then the most important city in Fife, throughout the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh[16] – when Gordon was three.[17] Brown was introduced up there together with his elder brother John and youthful brother Andrew Brown[14] in a manse; he’s subsequently also known as a “son of the manse”, an idiomatic Scottish phrase.[18]


Brown was educated first at Kirkcaldy West Major College the place he was chosen for an experimental quick stream training programme, which took him two years early to Kirkcaldy Excessive College for an instructional hothouse training taught in separate courses.[19] Aged 16, he wrote that he loathed and resented this “ludicrous” experiment on younger lives.[20]

He was accepted by the College of Edinburgh to check historical past on the identical early age of 16. Throughout an end-of-term rugby union match at his old fashioned, he acquired a kick to the top and suffered a retinal detachment.[21] This left him blind in his left eye, regardless of therapy together with a number of operations and weeks spent mendacity in a darkened room. Later at Edinburgh, whereas enjoying tennis, he seen the identical signs in his proper eye. Brown underwent experimental surgical procedure on the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and his proper eye was saved by a younger eye surgeon, Hector Chawla.[22][23] Brown graduated from Edinburgh with an undergraduate MA diploma with First-Class Honours in historical past in 1972.[24] He stayed on to acquire his PhD diploma in historical past, which he gained ten years later in 1982, defending a thesis titled The Labour Celebration and Political Change in Scotland 1918–29.[25][26]

In his youth on the College of Edinburgh, Brown was concerned in a romantic relationship with Margarita, Crown Princess of Romania. Margarita stated about it: “It was a really stable and romantic story. I by no means stopped loving him however in the future it did not appear proper any extra, it was politics, politics, politics, and I wanted nurturing.” An unnamed pal of these years is quoted by Paul Routledge in his biography of Brown as recalling: “She was candy and mild and clearly reduce out to make anyone an excellent spouse. She was brilliant, too, although not like him, however they appeared made for one another.”[27]

In 1972, whereas nonetheless a scholar, Brown was elected Rector of the College of Edinburgh, the convener of the College Courtroom.[28] He served as Rector till 1975, and in addition edited the doc The Pink Paper on Scotland.[29]

Profession earlier than Parliament

From 1976 to 1980 Brown was employed as a lecturer in politics at Glasgow School of Know-how.[30] He additionally labored as a tutor for the Open College.[31] Within the 1979 normal election, Brown stood for the Edinburgh South constituency, shedding to the Conservative candidate, Michael Ancram.[25]

From 1980, he labored as a journalist at Scottish Tv, later serving as present affairs editor till his election to Parliament in 1983.[32][33]

Election to Parliament and opposition

Brown was elected to Parliament as a Labour MP at his second try, for Dunfermline East within the 1983 normal election. His first Westminster workplace mate was a newly elected MP from the Sedgefield constituency, Tony Blair. Brown grew to become an opposition spokesman on Commerce and Trade in 1985. In 1986, he printed a biography of the Unbiased Labour Celebration politician James Maxton, the topic of his doctoral thesis. Brown was Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1987 to 1989 after which Shadow Secretary of State for Commerce and Trade, earlier than changing into Shadow Chancellor in 1992.[25][32] Having led the Labour Motion Sure marketing campaign, refusing to affix the cross-party Sure for Scotland marketing campaign, in the course of the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum, whereas different senior Labour politicians – together with Robin Prepare dinner, Tam Dalyell and Brian Wilson – campaigned for a No vote, Brown was subsequently a key participant within the Scottish Constitutional Conference, signing the Declare of Proper for Scotland in 1989.[34]

Labour chief John Smith died out of the blue in Might 1994. Brown didn’t contest the management after Tony Blair grew to become the favorite, deciding to make means for Blair to keep away from splitting the pro-modernising vote within the management poll.[35]

It has lengthy been rumoured a deal was struck between Blair and Brown on the former Granita restaurant in Islington, through which Blair promised to present Brown management of financial coverage in return for Brown not standing towards him within the management election.[36][37][38] Whether or not that is true or not, the connection between Blair and Brown was central to the fortunes of New Labour, they usually principally remained united in public, regardless of reported critical non-public rifts.[39]

As Shadow Chancellor, Brown as Chancellor-in-waiting was seen as a good selection by enterprise and the center class. Whereas he was Chancellor inflation generally exceeded the two{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} goal inflicting the Governor of the Financial institution of England to jot down a number of letters to the Chancellor, every time inflation exceeded three per cent.[40][41] Following a reorganisation of Westminster constituencies in Scotland in 2005, Brown grew to become MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath on the normal election.[42][43]

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1997–2007)

Within the 1997 normal election, Labour defeated the Conservatives by a landslide to finish their 18-year exile from authorities, and when Tony Blair, the brand new Prime Minister, introduced his ministerial staff on 2 Might 1997, he appointed Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Brown would stay on this function for 10 years and two months, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in fashionable historical past.[23] The Prime Minister’s web site highlights some achievements from Brown’s decade as Chancellor: making the Financial institution of England unbiased and delivering an settlement on poverty and local weather change on the G8 summit in 2005.[25]

Gordon Brown standing at a podium. Text on the podium states"ANNUAL MEETINGS". A number of flags hang in the background.

Gordon Brown talking on the annual World Financial institution/IMF assembly in 2002

Early financial reforms

On taking workplace as Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown gave the Financial institution of England operational independence in financial coverage, and thus duty for setting rates of interest by means of the Financial institution’s Financial Coverage Committee.[44] On the identical time, he additionally modified the inflation measure from the Retail Worth Index to the Shopper Worth Index and transferred duty for banking supervision to the Monetary Providers Authority.[45][46] Some commentators have argued that this division of tasks exacerbated the severity in Britain of the 2007 international banking disaster.[47]

Taxation and spending

Within the 1997 election and subsequently, Brown pledged to not improve the essential or greater charges of revenue tax. Over his Chancellorship, he diminished the essential fee from 23{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} to twenty{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7}. Nevertheless, in all however his ultimate price range, Brown elevated the tax thresholds inline with inflation, fairly than earnings, leading to fiscal drag. Company tax fell beneath Brown, from a principal fee of 33{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} to twenty-eight{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7}, and from 24{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} to 19{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} for small companies.[48] In 1999, he launched a decrease tax band of 10{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7}. He abolished this 10{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} tax band in his final price range in 2007 to cut back the essential fee from 22{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} to twenty{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7}, rising tax for five million individuals[49] and, based on the calculations of the Institute for Fiscal Research, leaving these incomes between £5,000 and £18,000 as the most important losers.[50] To backbench cheers, Brown had described the measure in his final Funds thus: “Having put in place extra targeted methods of incentivising work and immediately supporting kids and pensioners at a price of £3bn a 12 months, I can now return revenue tax to only two charges by eradicating the 10p band on non-savings revenue”.[51] Brown additionally carried out the Windfall Tax in 1997 on the privatised utilities. The tax produced an estimated one off revenue to the federal government of £5 billion which was used to fund the New Deal, a welfare-to-work program that sought to deal with long-term unemployment.

In accordance with the OECD UK taxation elevated from a 39.3{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} share of gross home product in 1997 to 42.4{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} in 2006, going to the next degree than that of Germany.[52] This improve has primarily been attributed to lively authorities coverage, and never merely to the rising financial system. Conservatives have accused Brown of imposing “stealth taxes”. A generally reported instance resulted in 1997 from a technical change in the best way company tax is collected, the oblique impact of which was for the dividends on inventory investments held inside pensions to be taxed, thus decreasing pension returns and contributing to the demise of a lot of the ultimate wage pension funds within the UK.[53] The Treasury contends that this tax change was essential to long-term financial development.

Brown’s 2000 Spending Evaluation outlined a significant enlargement of presidency spending, notably on well being and training. In his April 2002 price range, Brown elevated Nationwide Insurance coverage to pay for well being spending. He additionally launched working tax credit,[54][55] and in his final price range as Chancellor, Brown gave an additional £3 billion in pension allowances, a rise within the youngster tax credit score, and a rise within the working tax credit score. These will increase have been adopted by one other £1 billion of assist for will increase within the youngster tax credit score.[56]

Beneath Brown, the tax code, the usual information to tax, doubled in size to 17,000 pages.[57][58]

European single foreign money

In October 1997, Brown introduced that the Treasury would set 5 financial exams[59] to find out whether or not the financial case had been made for the UK to undertake the European single foreign money. The Treasury indicated that the exams had not been handed in June 2003.[60]

Different points

In 2000, Brown was accused of beginning a political row about greater training (known as the Laura Spence Affair) when he accused the College of Oxford of elitism in its admissions procedures, describing its determination to not supply a spot to state college pupil Laura Spence as “completely outrageous”.[61] Lord Jenkins, then Oxford Chancellor and himself a former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, stated “almost each reality he used was false.”[62]

Between 1999 and 2002 Brown bought 60{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} of the UK’s gold reserves shortly earlier than gold entered a protracted bull market, since nicknamed by sellers because the Brown Backside or Brown’s Backside.[63][64][65] The official motive for promoting the gold reserves was to cut back the portfolio threat of the UK’s reserves by diversifying away from gold.[66] The UK ultimately bought about 395 tons of gold over 17 auctions from July 1999 to March 2002, at a median worth of about US$275 per ounce, elevating roughly US$3.5 billion.[67] By 2011, that amount of gold could be value over $19 billion, resulting in Brown’s determination to promote the gold being extensively criticised.[68]

As Chancellor, Brown argued towards renationalising the railways, saying on the Labour convention in 2004 that it might value £22 billion.[69]

Throughout his time as Chancellor, Brown reportedly believed that it was acceptable to take away most, however not all, of the unpayable Third World debt.[70] On 20 April 2006, in a speech to the United Nations Ambassadors, Brown outlined a “Inexperienced” view of worldwide improvement.[71]

Run-up to succeeding Tony Blair

In October 2004, Tony Blair introduced he wouldn’t lead the occasion right into a fourth normal election, however would serve a full third time period.[72] Political remark over the connection between Brown and Blair continued as much as and past the 2005 election, which Labour received with a diminished majority and diminished vote share. Blair introduced on 7 September 2006 that he would step down inside a 12 months.[73] Brown was the clear favorite to succeed Blair; he was the one candidate spoken of significantly in Westminster. Appearances and information protection main as much as the handover have been interpreted as making ready the bottom for Brown to develop into Prime Minister, partly by creating the impression of a statesman with a imaginative and prescient for management and international change. This enabled Brown to sign essentially the most important priorities for his agenda as Prime Minister; talking at a Fabian Society convention on ‘The Subsequent Decade’ in January 2007, he careworn training, worldwide improvement, narrowing inequalities (to pursue ‘equality of alternative and equity of end result’), renewing Britishness, restoring belief in politics, and profitable hearts and minds within the struggle on terror as key priorities.[74]

Prime Minister (2007–2010)

Brown and George W. Bush, President of the US, meet at Downing Avenue, 2008.

Brown grew to become the Prime Minister of the UK on 27 June 2007. He was succeeded by Alistair Darling as Chancellor the next day.[75] Like all fashionable Prime Ministers, Brown concurrently served because the First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service, and was a member of the Cupboard of the UK. Till his resignation from the put up in Might 2010, he was Chief of the Labour Celebration. He was Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath till he stepped down in 2015. He was the sixth post-war Prime Minister, of a complete of 13, to imagine the function with out having received a normal election.[76] Brown was the primary Prime Minister from a Scottish constituency because the Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-House in 1964. Not all British prime ministers have been college graduates, however, of people who have been, Brown was one in all solely 5 that had not attended both Oxford or Cambridge.[77] He proposed transferring some conventional prime ministerial powers conferred by royal prerogative to the realm of Parliament, corresponding to the ability to declare struggle and approve appointments to senior positions. Brown needed Parliament to realize the precise to ratify treaties and have extra oversight into the intelligence companies. He additionally proposed transferring some powers from Parliament to residents, together with the precise to type “residents’ juries”, simply petition Parliament for brand new legal guidelines, and rally exterior Westminster. He asserted that the legal professional normal shouldn’t have the precise to determine whether or not to prosecute in particular person instances, corresponding to within the loans for peerages scandal.[78]

There was hypothesis throughout September and early October 2007 about whether or not Brown would name a snap normal election. Certainly, the occasion launched the Not Flash, Simply Gordon promoting marketing campaign, which was seen largely as pre-election promotion of Brown as Prime Minister. Nevertheless, Brown introduced on 6 October[79] that there could be no election any time quickly – regardless of opinion polls displaying that he was able to profitable an election ought to he name one. This proved to be a expensive mistake, as throughout 2008 his occasion slid behind the Conservatives (led by David Cameron) within the polls. Disputes over political donations, a string of losses in native elections, and by-election losses in Crewe and Glasgow did himself and the federal government no favours both.[80]

His political opponents accused him of being indecisive, which Brown denied.[81] In July 2008 Brown supported a brand new invoice extending the pre-charge detention interval to 42 days. The invoice was met with opposition on each side of the Home and backbench rise up. Ultimately the invoice handed by simply 9 votes.[82][83] The Home of Lords defeated the invoice, with Lords characterising it as “fatally flawed, ailing thought by means of and pointless”, stating that “it seeks to additional erode elementary authorized and civil rights”.[84]

Brown was talked about by the press within the bills disaster for claiming for the fee of his cleaner. Nevertheless, no wrongdoing was discovered and the Commons Authority didn’t pursue Brown over the declare. In the meantime, the Commons Charges Workplace acknowledged {that a} double fee for a £153 plumbing restore invoice was a mistake on their half and that Brown had repaid it in full.[85][86]

Home coverage

Brown on the World Financial Discussion board assembly in Davos in 2008

Throughout his Labour management marketing campaign Brown proposed some coverage initiatives, which he known as the manifesto for change.[87][88]

The manifesto included a clampdown on corruption and a brand new Ministerial Code, which set out clear requirements of behaviour for ministers.[89] He additionally acknowledged in a speech when saying his bid that he desires a “higher structure” that’s “clear in regards to the rights and tasks of being a citizen in Britain in the present day”. He deliberate to arrange an all-party conference to have a look at new powers for Parliament and to have a look at rebalancing powers between Whitehall and native authorities. Brown stated he would give Parliament the ultimate say on whether or not British troops have been despatched into motion in future.

He stated he needed to launch extra land and ease entry to possession with shared fairness schemes. He backed a proposal to construct new eco-towns, every housing between 10,000 and 20,000 householders – as much as 100,000 new houses in whole.
Brown additionally stated he needed to have docs’ surgical procedures open on the weekends, and GPs on name within the evenings. Medical doctors got the precise of opting out of out-of-hours care in 2007, beneath a controversial pay deal, signed by then-Well being Secretary John Reid, which awarded them a 22 per cent pay rise in 2006. Brown additionally acknowledged within the manifesto that the Nationwide Well being Service (NHS) was his prime precedence.

On 5 June 2007, simply three weeks earlier than he was attributable to take the put up of Prime Minister, Brown made a speech promising “British Jobs for British staff”.[90] Brown reiterated that promise on the Labour Celebration’s annual convention in September, which prompted controversy as he coupled this with a dedication to crack down on migrant staff.[91][92] The Conservative Celebration, led by David Cameron, promptly identified that such a dedication was unlawful beneath EU legislation.[92]

Overseas coverage

Brown meets British troops throughout a go to to Basra, 2007.

US President Barack Obama, Prince Charles, Brown, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrive on the Colleville-sur-Mer cemetery to attend a ceremony marking the sixty fifth anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, 6 June 2009.

Brown had been dedicated to the Iraq Warfare, however stated in a speech in June 2007 that he would “be taught the teachings” from the errors made in Iraq.[93] Brown stated in a letter printed on 17 March 2008 that the UK would maintain an inquiry into the struggle.[94]

Brown went to nice lengths to empathise with those that misplaced relations within the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. He has typically stated “Warfare is tragic”, echoing Blair’s quote, “Warfare is horrible”.[95] Nonetheless, in November 2007 Brown was accused by some senior navy figures of not adhering to the Navy Covenant, a conference inside British politics guaranteeing sufficient safeguards, rewards and compensation for navy personnel who threat their lives in obedience to orders derived from the coverage of the elected authorities.[96]

Brown didn’t attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer season Olympics on 8 August 2008 in Beijing; as a substitute, he attended the closing ceremony on 24 August 2008. Brown had been beneath intense stress from human rights campaigners to ship a message to China, regarding the 2008 Tibetan unrest. His determination to not attend the opening ceremony was not an act of protest, however fairly was made a number of weeks prematurely and never meant as a stand on precept.[97]

In a speech in July 2007, Brown clarified his place relating to Britain’s relationship with the USA:[98] “We is not going to permit individuals to separate us from the US of America in coping with the widespread challenges that we face all over the world. I believe individuals have gotten to keep in mind that the particular relationship between a British prime minister and an American president is constructed on the issues that we share, the identical enduring values in regards to the significance of liberty, alternative, the dignity of the person. I’ll proceed to work, as Tony Blair did, very intently with the American administration.”

Brown and the Labour occasion had pledged to permit a referendum on the EU Treaty of Lisbon. On 13 December 2007, Overseas Secretary David Miliband attended for the Prime Minister on the official signing ceremony in Lisbon of the EU Reform Treaty. Brown’s opponents on each side of the Home, and within the press, recommended that ratification by Parliament was not sufficient and {that a} referendum also needs to be held. Labour’s 2005 manifesto had pledged to present the British public a referendum on the unique EU Structure.[99][100] Brown argued that the Treaty considerably differed from the Structure, and as such didn’t require a referendum. He additionally responded with plans for a prolonged debate on the subject, and acknowledged that he believed the doc to be too advanced to be determined by referendum.[101]

Drug coverage

Throughout Brown’s premiership, in October 2008, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Medicine (ACMD) advisable to the then House Secretary Jacqui Smith that hashish stay categorized as a Class C drug.[102] Appearing towards the recommendation of the Council, she selected to reclassify it as Class B.[102] After Professor David Nutt, the chair of the ACMD, criticised this transfer in a lecture in 2009, he was requested to step down by then House Secretary Alan Johnson.[103] Following his resignation, Professor Nutt stated Brown had “made up his thoughts” to reclassify hashish regardless of proof on the contrary.[104] Brown had argued, “I do not suppose that the earlier research took under consideration that a lot of the hashish on the streets is now of a deadly high quality and we actually have gotten to ship out a message to younger individuals—this isn’t acceptable”.[105][106] Professor Nutt’s predecessor on the ACMD, Sir Michael Rawlins, later stated, “Governments might effectively have good causes for taking another view … When that occurs, then the federal government ought to clarify why it is ignoring the actual recommendation”.[107]

International recession

Brown’s premiership coincided with the worldwide recession, throughout which Brown known as for fiscal motion in an try to stimulate combination demand. Domestically, Brown’s administration launched measures together with a financial institution rescue package deal value round £500 billion (roughly $850 billion), a brief 2.5 proportion level reduce in value-added tax[108] and a “automotive scrappage” scheme.[109]

Challenges to management

In mid-2008, Brown’s management was introduced with a problem as some MPs brazenly known as for him to resign. This occasion was dubbed the ‘Lancashire Plot’, as two backbenchers from (pre-1974) Lancashire urged him to step down and a 3rd questioned his probabilities of holding on to the Labour Celebration management. A number of MPs argued that if Brown didn’t get well within the polls by early 2009, he ought to name for a management contest. Nevertheless, sure distinguished MPs, corresponding to Jacqui Smith and Invoice Rammell, recommended that Brown was the precise particular person to guide Britain by means of its financial disaster.[110] Within the autumn, Siobhain McDonagh, an MP and junior authorities whip, who throughout her time in workplace had by no means voted towards the federal government,[111] spoke of the necessity for dialogue over Brown’s place. Whereas she didn’t state that she needed Brown deposed, she implored the Labour Celebration to carry a management election. McDonagh was sacked from her function shortly afterward, on 12 September.[112] She was supported in making clear her need for a contest by Joan Ryan (who utilized, as McDonagh had, for management nomination papers, and have become the second insurgent to be fired from her job), Jim Dowd, Greg Pope, and a string of others who had beforehand held positions in authorities.[113] Within the face of this hypothesis over Brown’s future, his ministers backed him to guide the occasion, and Harriet Harman and David Miliband denied that they have been making ready management bids. After Labour misplaced the Glasgow East by-election in July, Harman, the deputy chief of the occasion, stated that Brown was the “answer”, not the “drawback”; House Secretary Smith, Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Faculties Secretary Ed Balls and Cupboard Workplace Minister Ed Miliband all re-affirmed their assist for Brown.[114] The deputy Prime Minister beneath Blair, John Prescott, additionally pledged his assist.[115] Overseas Secretary David Miliband then denied that he was plotting a management bid, when on 30 July, an article written by him in The Guardian was interpreted by a big quantity within the media as an try to undermine Brown. Within the article, Miliband outlined the occasion’s future, however uncared for to say the Prime Minister. Miliband, responded to this by saying that he was assured Brown could lead on Labour to victory within the subsequent normal election, and that his article was an assault towards the fatalism within the occasion because the lack of Glasgow-East.[116] Miliband continued to indicate his assist for Brown within the face of the problem that emerged in September, as did Enterprise Secretary John Hutton, Atmosphere Secretary Hilary Benn, and Chief Whip Geoff Hoon.[117]

On 4 June 2009 James Purnell resigned from the Cupboard, and known as for Brown’s resignation as Prime Minister.

On 6 January 2010, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon collectively known as for a secret poll on the way forward for Brown’s management.[118] The decision acquired little assist, and the next day Hoon stated that it appeared to have failed and was “over”. Brown later referred to the decision for a secret poll as a “type of silliness”.[119]

By-elections and 2009 native and EU elections

Within the native elections on 1 Might 2008, Labour suffered its worst leads to 40 years, ending in third place with a projected 24{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} share of the nationwide vote.[120] Subsequently, the occasion noticed the lack of by-elections in Nantwich and Crewe and Henley in addition to slumps within the polls. A by-election in Glasgow East triggered by the resignation of David Marshall noticed Labour wrestle to nominate a candidate, ultimately settling for Margaret Curran, a sitting MSP within the Scottish Parliament. The SNP, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats all derided Labour for his or her disorganised nature, with Alex Salmond commenting “That is their ‘misplaced weekend’—they do not have a pacesetter in Scotland, they do not have a candidate in Glasgow East, they usually have a primary minister who refuses to return to the constituency”.[121] Labour misplaced the constituency to the Scottish Nationwide Celebration’s John Mason who took 11,277 votes, with Labour simply 365 behind. The seat skilled a swing of twenty-two.54{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7}.[122]

Within the European elections, Labour polled 16{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} of the vote, ending in third place behind the Conservatives and UK Independence Celebration (UKIP).[8] Voter apathy was mirrored within the traditionally low turnout of round thirty-three per cent. In Scotland, voter turnout was solely twenty-eight per cent. Within the native elections, Labour polled 23{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} of the vote, ending in third place behind Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with Labour shedding management of the 4 councils it had held previous to the election.[123] In a vote extensively thought of to be a response to the bills scandal, the share of the votes was down for all the key events; Labour was down one p.c, the Conservative share was down 5 p.c. The beneficiary of the general public backlash was usually seen to be the minor events, together with the Inexperienced Celebration and UKIP. These outcomes have been Labour’s worst since World Warfare II. Brown was quoted within the press as having stated that the outcomes have been “a painful defeat for Labour”, and that “too many good individuals doing a lot good for his or her communities and their constituencies have misplaced by means of no fault of their very own.”[7][124]

2010 normal election

Gordon and Sarah Brown on the College of Bradford the day earlier than the 2010 election

In April 2010, Brown requested the Queen to dissolve Parliament. The final election marketing campaign included the primary televised management debates in Britain. The results of the election on 6 Might was a hung parliament.[125] Brown was re-elected as MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath with 29,559 votes.[125][126]

2010 authorities formation and resignation

Brown introduced on 10 Might 2010 that he would stand down as Labour Chief, with a view to a successor being chosen earlier than the following Labour Celebration Convention in September 2010.[127] The next day, negotiations between the Labour Celebration and the Liberal Democrats to type a coalition authorities failed. Through the night, Brown visited Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation as Prime Minister to Queen Elizabeth II and to suggest that she invite the Chief of the Opposition, David Cameron, to type a authorities.[128] He resigned as chief of the Labour Celebration with rapid impact.[128]


Brown, as UN Particular Envoy for International Training, addresses the World Financial Discussion board, January 2013.

Return to the backbenches (2010–2015)

On 13 Might 2010, in his first public look since leaving 10 Downing Avenue, two days after resigning as Prime Minister and Chief of the Labour Celebration, Brown confirmed he meant to remain on in Parliament, serving as a Labour backbencher, to serve the individuals of his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.[129]

In the direction of the tip of Might 2010, Brown started writing Past the Crash, finishing it after 14 weeks. The e book discusses the 2007–08 monetary disaster and Brown’s suggestions for future co-ordinated international motion.[130][131]

He performed a distinguished function within the lead-up to, and the aftermath of, the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, campaigning for Scotland to remain in the UK.[132]

On 1 December 2014, Brown introduced that he wouldn’t be in search of re-election to parliament. He stood down on the normal election in Might 2015.[133]

IMF hypothesis

In April 2011, media reviews linked Brown with the function of managing director of the Worldwide Financial Fund following the scheduled retirement of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Brown’s successor and Chief of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, supported Brown for the function, whereas the Prime Minister, David Cameron, voiced opposition to this.[134] Following the arrest of Strauss-Kahn for alleged sexual assault in Might 2011, and his subsequent resignation, these reviews re-surfaced.[135] Assist for Brown amongst economists was blended however British Authorities backing for his candidature was not forthcoming and as a substitute supported Christine Lagarde – the eventual profitable candidate – for the put up.[136][137]

Different appointments

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who had labored with the federal government throughout Brown’s premiership to publish authorities information on the web within the information.gov.uk venture, subsequently invited Brown to develop into a board director of the World Vast Internet Basis to “advise the Internet Basis on methods to contain deprived communities and international leaders within the improvement of sustainable applications that join humanity and have an effect on optimistic change”.[138] On 22 April 2011 it was introduced that Brown could be taking over an unpaid advisory function on the World Financial Discussion board.[139] Brown was additionally appointed because the inaugural ‘Distinguished Chief in Residence’ by New York College and took half in discussions and lectures regarding the worldwide monetary disaster[140] and globalisation.[141]

In July 2012 Brown was named by Secretary-Normal Ban Ki-moon as a United Nations Particular Envoy on International Training. He chaired the Worldwide Fee on Financing International Training Alternative. The place is unpaid.[142]

In December 2015, Brown took his first large-scale function within the non-public sector since standing down as prime minister in 2010, changing into an advisor to PIMCO. Any cash earned from the function is to go to the Gordon and Sarah Brown Basis to assist charitable work.[143]

In September 2020, Brown was a co-author of a letter to the journal Nature highlighting the significance of EU funding within the battle towards COVID-19.[144] The letter was organised by Scientists for Labour, an organisation of which he’s a patron.

Views on poverty

In December 2018, he stated: “It makes me indignant. I am seeing poverty I did not suppose I’d ever see once more in my lifetime. Slum housing was a characteristic of my childhood within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, and I assumed we had lastly bought over the worst of kid poverty. Tax credit have been the important thing to that.” He additionally stated, “You may’t clear up youngster poverty with the present system. Common Credit score is totally underfunded and each time they transfer individuals on to it you see extra poverty. Minimal wage jobs do not pay sufficient to maintain a household with two or three kids out of poverty.” Brown stated additional, “The federal government is attempting to analyse this as people who find themselves too lazy to get into work. However the issue is that individuals cannot earn sufficient to remain out of poverty.”[145]


The Deal, a 2003 tv movie, adopted Tony Blair’s rise to energy, and his friendship and rivalry with Brown, performed by David Morrissey. In The Trial of Tony Blair (2007) Brown was performed by Peter Mullan, and within the Channel 4 tv movie Coalition (2015) he was portrayed by Ian Grieve.

Private life

Sarah Brown attending one in all her husband’s speeches, September 2009

Brown’s early girlfriends included journalist Sheena McDonald and Princess Margarita, the eldest daughter of exiled King Michael of Romania.[32] On the age of 49, Brown married Sarah Macaulay in a personal ceremony at his house in North Queensferry, Fife, on 3 August 2000.[146] A daughter, Jennifer Jane, was born prematurely on 28 December 2001; she died on 7 January 2002, in the future after struggling a mind haemorrhage.[147] The couple have two sons, John Macaulay (born 17 October 2003)[148] and (James) Fraser (born on 18 July 2006). In November 2006, Fraser was identified with cystic fibrosis.[149] The Solar had realized of the scenario in 2006 and printed the story. In 2011 Brown acknowledged he had needed the main points of his son’s situation saved non-public and that the publication had left him “in tears”.[150] The Solar stated they approached Brown and that dialogue occurred together with his colleagues who supplied quotes to make use of within the article.[151]

Sarah Brown not often made official appearances, whether or not with or with out her husband.[152] She is patron of a number of charities and has written articles for nationwide newspapers associated to this.[153] On the 2008 Labour Celebration Convention, Sarah prompted shock by taking to the stage to introduce her husband for his keynote deal with.[154] Since then her public profile has elevated.[155][needs update]

Brown has two brothers, John Brown and Andrew Brown. Andrew has been Head of Media Relations within the UK for the French-owned utility firm EDF Vitality since 2004.[156] Brown can also be the brother-in-law of environmental journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown; he wrote a bit for The Unbiased supporting Clare’s present environmental efforts on behalf of Sarawak.[157]

While Prime Minister, Brown spent a few of his spare time at Chequers, the home typically being stuffed with associates. The Browns have entertained native dignitaries like Sir Leonard Figg.[158] Brown can also be a pal of Harry Potter writer J. Ok. Rowling, who says of Brown: “I do know him as affable, humorous and gregarious, an important listener, a sort and constant pal.”[159]

Brown is a robust supporter of the NHS, partly attributable to each the experimental surgical procedure that saved the sight in his proper eye after his retina grew to become indifferent, and the care he and Sarah Brown acquired when their untimely firstborn child died. It has been recommended that visible difficulties have contributed to Brown’s supposed delinquent nature and awkward public method. For instance, each on a podium and earlier than a digital camera, whereas studying “he must look barely to at least one aspect of the paper to focus; when chatting with an viewers or right into a digital camera lens, he should bear in mind to appropriate what would usually be an automated tendency to look barely askew to see clearly together with his good eye”. Brown’s papers have been ready in capital letters and in extraordinarily massive sort, leading to his stack of papers on the dispatch field being noticeably cumbersome attributable to fewer phrases per web page. Former staffers typically attributed Brown’s outbursts of mood in Downing Avenue to his frustration together with his visible limitations. However, it’s famous that he has by no means allowed these limitations to carry him again and in reality attributed them to the shaping of his political character. [160]

Brown is a famous supporter of Kirkcaldy-based soccer membership Raith Rovers and has written articles about his relationship with the membership.[161][162][163][164]


A son of a Church of Scotland minister, Brown has talked about what he calls his “ethical compass”[165] and of his dad and mom being his “inspiration”.[166] He has, a minimum of ostensibly, been eager to maintain his faith a personal matter.[167] In accordance with The Guardian, he’s a member of the Church of Scotland.[168]


  • Physician of the College (D.Univ.) from Brunel College (1996)[169]
  • Physician Honoris Causa (Hon.Dr.) from College of Edinburgh (2003)[170]
  • Honorary Physician of Legal guidelines (LL.D.) from Robert Gordon College (2003)[171]
  • Honorary Physician of Humane Letters (D.H.L.) from New York College (2005)[172]
  • Honorary Physician of Civil Regulation (D.C.L.) from Newcastle College (2007)[173]
  • Honorary Physician of Letters (D.Litt.) from College of Delhi (2008)[174]
  • Physician of the College (D.Univ.) from College of Glasgow (2015)[175]
  • Elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (HonFRSE; 2018)[176]

In March 2009, Brown was named World Statesman of the Yr by the Attraction of Conscience Basis, an American organisation ‘devoted to selling peace, human rights and understanding between spiritual faiths’. The award was introduced by Rabbi Arthur Schneier who praised Brown’s “compassionate management in coping with the difficult points dealing with humanity, his dedication to freedom, human dignity and the surroundings, and for the key function he has performed in serving to to stabilise the world’s monetary system”.[177][178][179]

Brown has, on six events, been honoured within the Scottish Politician of the Yr awards organised by The Herald newspaper. In 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2014, he received the award within the Finest Scot at Westminster class. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award/Excellent Political Achievement class in 2011. And in 2020, he was designated “better of the very best” within the Finest Scot at Westminster class.[180]


  • Brown, Gordon, ed. (1975). The Pink Paper on Scotland. Edinburgh: EUSPB. ISBN 0-9501890-73.

  • Drucker, H.M.; Brown, Gordon (1980). The Politics of Nationalism and Devolution. London: Longman. ISBN 9780582295209.
  • The Labour Celebration and Political Change in Scotland 1918–1929: The Politics of 5 Elections (PhD). Edinburgh: College of Edinburgh. 1982. hdl:1842/7136.
  • Maxton: A Biography. Mainstream Publishing. 1986. ISBN 978-1-85158-042-2.
  • Gordon Brown; Robin Prepare dinner, eds. (1987). Scotland: The Actual Divide. Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-0-906391-18-1.
  • The place There’s Greed: Margaret Thatcher and the Betrayal of Britain’s Future. Mainstream Publishing. 1989. ISBN 978-1-85158-228-0.
  • Brown, Gordon; Naughtie, James (1994). John Smith: Life and Soul of the Celebration. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 1-85158-692-X.
  • Gordon Brown; Tony Wright, eds. (1995). Values, Visions and Voices: An Anthology of Socialism. Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85158-731-5.
  • Shifting Britain Ahead: chosen speeches, 1997-2006. London: Bloomsbury. 2006. ISBN 9780747588382.
  • Braveness: Eight Portraits. Bloomsbury Publishing. 2007. ISBN 978-0-7475-6532-1.
  • Britain’s On a regular basis Heroes. Mainstream Publishing. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84596-307-1.
  • Wartime Braveness: tales of extraordinary braveness by distinctive women and men in World Warfare Two. London: Bloomsbury. 2009. ISBN 9780747597414.
  • The Change We Select: Speeches 2007–2009. Mainstream Publishing. 2010. ISBN 978-1-84596-632-4.
  • Past the Crash: Overcoming the First Disaster of Globalisation. Simon & Schuster. 2010.
  • Brown, Gordon; Chris Harvie (Might 2015) [1979]. A Voter’s Information to the Scottish Meeting. David Watt & Sons.
  • Keir Hardie: Labour’s first chief. BBC Radio Scotland programme. September 2015.[181]
  • Britain: Main, Not Leaving: the patriotic case for remaining in Europe. Selkirk: Deerpark Press. 2016. ISBN 9780954197964.
  • My Life, Our Instances. Bodley Head. 2017. ISBN 978-1-84792-497-1.
  • Seven Methods to Change the World: How To Repair The Most Urgent Issues We Face. [S.l.]: Simon & Schuster. 2021. ISBN 978-1-3985-0361-8. OCLC 1223012333.

See additionally

  • Brownism
  • Checklist of TED audio system

Additional studying

  • Pym, Hugh; Kochan, Nick (1998). Gordon Brown the First Yr in Energy. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-3701-4.
  • Rawnsley, Andrew (2001). Servants of the individuals:The within story of New Labour. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-027850-7.
  • Rosen, Greg (2005). Outdated Labour to New:The Desires that Impressed, the Battles that Divided. Politicos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84275-045-2.
  • Routledge, Paul (2003). Bumper Guide of British Lefties. Politicos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84275-064-3.
  • Lee, Simon (2009). Increase and Bust: The Politics and Legacy of Gordon Brown. Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1851686643.
  • Richards, Steve (2010). No matter it Takes: The Actual Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour. Fourth Property. ISBN 978-0007320325.
  • Hughes, Colin (2010). What Went Mistaken, Gordon Brown?: How the dream job turned bitter. The Guardian Books. ISBN 978-0852652190.
  • Seldon, Anthony (2010). Brown at 10. Biteback. ISBN 978-1849540698.
  • McBride, Damian (2013). Energy Journey: a Decade of Coverage, Plots and Spin. Biteback.


  • 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 Property. ISBN 978-1-84115-473-2.
  • Peston, Robert (2005). Brown’s Britain: How Gordon Runs the Present. Brief 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.

  • Gordon Brown Official authorities profile
  • Official web site of the Workplace of Gordon and Sarah Brown
  • Profile at Parliament of the UK
  • Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
  • Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
  • Voting report at Public Whip
  • Report in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
  • Gordon Brown at Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Tour diary: Gordon Brown in Africa BBC Information, January 2005 journey about his ‘Marshall plan for Africa’
  • Gordon Brown collected information and commentary at The Guardian Edit this at Wikidata
  • “Gordon Brown collected information and commentary”. The New York Instances.
  • Gordon Brown at TED Edit this at Wikidata
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Gordon Brown on Charlie Rose
  • Works by or about Gordon Brown in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Portraits of Gordon Brown on the Nationwide Portrait Gallery, London Edit this at Wikidata
  • “Archival materials regarding Gordon Brown”. UK Nationwide Archives. Edit this at Wikidata


  • Transcript of Gordon Brown’s acceptance speech ePolitix, 17 Might 2007
  • Transcript of first speech as Labour Celebration Chief ePolitix, 24 June 2007
  • Handle to the 63rd session of the United Nations Normal Meeting September 2008
  • Manifesto speech transcript ePolitix, 12 April 2010
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