Brown returns to say goodbye

Brown returned for a dignified farewell speech
Brown returned for a dignified farewell speech

By Ian Dunt

Gordon Brown made a dramatic return to British politics today, with an emotional speech passing on the leadership of the Labour party

The former prime minister kicked off the event announcing Ed Miliband as Labour's new leader with a farewell speech which was greeted by a standing ovation.

"Today Sarah and I come here to be with the party we love, which we've served all our lives and will serve for the rest of our lives," he said.

"We are Labour, have always been Labour, and always will be Labour."

The emotional speech saw Mr Brown tackle the press, his economic record and Tony Blair in his short address to the hall.

He defended the decision to build schools and hospitals "when the sun was shining", joked that his local constituency newspaper was the only one to report him impartially and suggested Mr Blair's 700-page memoirs were an employer's reference paper for a new job.

Speaking about his defeat at the general election, Mr Brown said: "I take the whole fault upon my shoulders alone.

"It's for this party to get out of what were worst at - the blame game - and back into what we're best at - the future business.

"This today I can promise you: if you pick up a newspaper or turn on a television you will not find me, not ever, doing anything other than supporting the Labour team."

Mr Blair's devastating memoirs, which suggested Mr Brown was mentally unstable, were greeted with outrage by Mr Brown.

But media reports suggested he had told allies not to speak out against the Middle East envoy and instead insisted on a place at the leadership announcement event so he could be seen to pass on the baton to the new leader in a dignified way.

Since his defeat at the May 6th election, Mr Brown has been a rare sight in Westminster.


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