Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Will Lead Labour into Election, Vows Brown; He Takes to Global Stage as Poll Dents His Fightback

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Will Lead Labour into Election, Vows Brown; He Takes to Global Stage as Poll Dents His Fightback

Article excerpt

Byline: JoeMurphy Political Editor

A defiAnt Gordon Brown today vowed to carry on as Labour leader and rejected Westminster gossip that he might stand down before the election.

Amid speculation among some MPs that he could retire on health grounds, Mr Brown said firmly that he will lead Labour into the general election, which is expected in May.

"i think that's the right thing to do," he told GMtV. "When you've set off on a journey, you have got to complete that journey."

the Prime Minister spoke out as he set off to new York for four days of international diplomacy that will last until the Labour Party conference starting in Brighton this weekend.

Mr Brown hopes success on the global stage, to match his acclaimed chairmanship of the London Summit earlier this year, will bolster his authority ahead of the Brighton gathering, where his leadership will be hotly debated by activists, MPs and ministers.

there has been a steady stream of rumours in recent months, most fuelled by political enemies, that he might quit before the election. A new book by political journalist Adam Boulton claims that tony Blair has privately suggested Mr Brown may "duck out" of the election. He writes: "in private Mr Blair commented to several friends that history showed Mr Brown to be a quitter not a fighter."

Mr Brown's fightback was dented by another dismal poll today. Just 14 per cent of voters think Labour ministers are being honest about the state of public finances -- half the level who trust the tories and Liberal democrats, the institute of Credit Management found for the Guardian.

the survey suggests that david Cameron is winning the battle over spending cuts. His party was up two points to 43 per cent, Labour was up one to 26, with the Lib-dems unchanged on 19. there were worries about an apparent rift with President Barack Obama after the US leader failed to find time in this week's schedule for one-to-one talks with Mr Brown.

downing Street said there were plenty of opportunities for them to chat, and pointed out that no other european leader was being granted bilateral talks.

However, a possible snub is sensitive after Mr Obama expressed dismay at the freeing of Lockerbie bomber Abdel-baseAli al-Megrahi. …

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