Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'LL BE THE PM YOU CAN TRUST; Brown Pledges Honesty and Humility as He Is Crowned Labour Leader

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'LL BE THE PM YOU CAN TRUST; Brown Pledges Honesty and Humility as He Is Crowned Labour Leader

Article excerpt

GORDON BROWN was charging towards Downing Street tonight and promising: "I will work hard for you." Armed with a stunning early victory in the Labour leadership race, he pledged he would be a new broom, promising "a new type of politics" with more honesty at the top.

Mr Brown said he would listen harder and establish "a more open and honest dialogue".

In remarks aimed at those disillusioned over Iraq and spin, he added: "I will strive to earn your trust - to earn your trust not just in foreign policy, but in our schools and our hospitals and our public services." He spoke out in a victory speech at the Bloomberg building in the City after winning a huge mandate from MPs to be prime minister on 27 June when Tony Blair retires.

With 313 votes, the Chancellor was crowned by acclaim as the next Labour leader without any poll of party members. He said he was "truly humbled" by the number. Mr Brown then made his most personal and direct promises yet to the British people.

Turning his image of a dour workaholic to his advantage, he vowed to give his all as prime minister. "I will work hard for you.

This is who I am," he declared. "And I will do my best for all the people of Britain." There were already signs that the seismic plates were shifting from the Blair years to a new Brown premiership, after the Chancellor's 13 years in the wings. He was arranging formal talks with Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell on detailed "transition plans" to prepare Whitehall for his arrival in six weeks.

The plans will cover a new style of governing at No 10, with promises of less spin, a new team of inner-circle advisers and the all-important early policy announcements. In effect, Mr Brown is being treated as "prime minister elect" by the civil service - a constitutional first for Britain. Some MPs were even asking whether Mr Blair needed to hang on until late June. Mr Brown's wife Sarah arrived with him at the Bloomberg building and sat in the audience while he was given a tumultuous ovation. "I am honoured that this party has chosen me," he said. "I stand here conscious that there is no higher calling than to lead and serve your country." The best preparation for government, he declared, was to listen. He would visit every region of Britain in the next six weeks and he said constitutional reforms would give voters a bigger voice. Joking at his serious-minded image, he added: "Sometimes, as you know, the length of my answers left little time for more questions - but I'm learning." Mr Blair, who was in talks with George Bush at the White House today, was being urged at home to begin sharing power with his successor. One Labour MP explicitly called on Mr Blair to consult the Chancellor on 2 June at the European summit, where a new EU constitution will be on the agenda. …

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