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UK's Gordon Brown fails to quash election rumors

UK's Gordon Brown fails to quash election rumors

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused yesterday to quash intense speculation that he could soon call a general election, saying he was simply "getting on with the job."
On the first day of the Labor Party's annual conference in the seaside town of Bournemouth, southern England, Brown refused to be pinned down on a date during a BBC television interview.
The former finance minister, who will address the conference today, did not rule out announcing at the five-day conference that he would call for an election, instead indicating that the focus of his own speech would be policy.
"There has been speculation all the time but I think people know that over these summer months, I just got on with the job," he said.
"We had terrorism, we had the floods, we had foot and mouth, we had the financial turbulence, and I'll keep getting on with the job," Brown said, referring to a string of crises which have hit Britain since he took over in June.
"I'm actually getting on with the job ... My focus is on the work ahead," he added, singling out the war in Iraq and health service reform as priority areas.
Brown added that "whenever the time comes for a decision" on the election, the main issues he would want to fight it on were the economy and public services.
Even though he has until May 2010 at the latest to call a general election, Brown is reportedly being urged by aides to call for a vote and capitalize on his current popularity and weak opposition.
An ICM poll for the Sunday Mirror put Labor six points ahead of his nearest rivals the Conservatives (39 percent versus 33 percent), with the smaller Liberal Democrats on 19 percent.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband reflected a renewed confidence within the party, telling The Observer he looked forward to another 10 years in power.
Asked about his speech today, when he is likely to get an excited reception from the Labor Party faithful, Brown said he hoped to impress on people that his was "not only a competent government" but one with vision for the future.
Brown's predecessor Tony Blair will not be at the conference because he is in New York working as a Middle East peace envoy. Brown said he spoke to him a few days ago and he was doing an "absolutely brilliant" job.


Updated : 2021-10-16 10:15 GMT+08:00