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Brown wins support to replace Blair -

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Brown wins support to replace Blair

Broadcast: 18/05/2007

Reporter: Stephanie Kennedy

British Chancellor Gordon Brown has formally accepted a nomination from his party to succeed Tony
Blair as the Labour leader and prime minister of Britain.


VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Gordon Brown will become Britain's next prime minister.

He secured the position when he his only opponent withdrew from the contest after receiving just 10
per cent of the nominations.

While Mr Brown is a well-known figure on the UK's political stage, his profile as an international
statesman is limited.

From London, Stephanie Kennedy reports.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: With 313 Labour MPs nominating Gordon Brown as the next Labour leader, no other
candidate had enough support to run. So Britain's next prime minister is a fait accompli.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER ELECT: I am truly humbled so many of my colleagues have
nominated me for the leadership of the Labour Party and I formally accept the nomination, the
responsibility it brings and the opportunity to serve the people of Britain.

(Sounds of cheering)

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Gordon Brown has played a vital role in the British Government for the past
decade. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Brown has been a familiar face in the UK.

He was born in Scotland in 1951 and became involved in student politics at university.

(Excerpt of archival footage)

GORDON BROWN: So with these employment odds stacked against thousands of people...

(End of excerpt)

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: He was elected to Parliament in the 1983 poll, along with Tony Blair. The two
were the architects of New Labour. For nearly 10 years they shared an office and worked together in
dragging the party into the centre-left. Their friendship began to fall apart after Tony Blair was
elected Labour Leader in 1994.

For over a decade, their relationship has been the most important, yet tumultuous one in British
politics. Gordon Brown, the older and more senior of the two, felt he should have been the party's

And after winning Government, the so called "Brown ites" worked tirelessly to undermine Tony
Blair's Prime Ministership.

Largely responsible for domestic policy, Gordon Brown is little known on the international stage.
Embroiled in an unpopular war, Mr Brown has made the commitment to stay in Iraq. Gordon Brown is
also an American file, and he's also pledged to follow Mr Blair's lead with the US.

GORDON BROWN: I'm not announcing new policies in relation to foreign affairs today. What I do say,
however, is that the values that unite America, Britain and Europe on foreign policy are more
enduring than either one single set of events or what happens in one country.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: This week Tony Blair made a farewell visit to Washington and George W Bush was
effusive in his praise for the outgoing Prime Minister.

GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : You know, will I miss working with Tony Blair?
You bet I will. Absolutely. Can I work with the next guy? Of course.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Gordon Brown has a reputation as a hard worker and big on detail. But his
detractors argue he's prickly and inflexible and he lacks the charisma and showmanship typified by
Tony Blair.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER US PRESIDENT: He's different; he's got a different personality. In terms of
communication skills he's gotten better and he'll keep getting better at that. But there are
different ways to be charismatic, you know. The most important thing is if he comes across as
brilliant, which he is, and authentic, which he is, that carries its own charisma and people will
get used to him. I think he'll wear off.

DAVID BLUNKETT, FORMER CABINET MINISTER: The public won't necessarily love Gordon Brown but they
deeply respect him. They'll want him to be successful. They'll understand that his commitment is to
them and to Britain as a whole, and above all, to taking on the challenge of a global economy, of
preparing Britain, helping people to cope with change.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: While he sailed into number 10, the challenge now is to win back an electorate
disillusioned with Labour's foreign and domestic policies.

Stephanie Kennedy, Lateline .