News24

Brown ready for UK election

2010-01-03 22:09

London - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted on Sunday he was the underdog for this year's general election but said he would fight to the end to win it.

The day after Conservative main opposition leader David Cameron drew out his battle themes for the election, Brown said the vote, due by June at the latest, would be the "decision of the decade" for Britain.

Brown set out his case why voters should stick with him and his governing centre-left Labour Party to lead Britain out of recession and back into economic growth.

Cameron's centre-right Conservatives have consistently been ahead in opinion polls for more than a year.

"When you're behind in the polls you've got to regard yourselves as the fighter. Everything I've ever won in my life, I've had to fight for," Brown told BBC television.

He described himself as "someone who is ready to fight for every aspect of Britain's future and will not stop fighting".

"We, the Labour Party, will fight every inch of the way," he vowed.

Vision for Britain


Brown explained: "My vision for the future of Britain is as the digital, low-carbon, biotechnology, education, creative industry leader of the world.

"We are the only party that can take people from recession to recovery and guarantee that we have growth in the future.

"This is a defining issue of the election. I believe in an age of aspiration, of opportunity and prosperity.

"I'm afraid the Conservatives have gone for an age of austerity and that means the majority of hard-working families suffer as a result."

Why Brown?

Cameron said "we cannot go on for another five years with Gordon Brown" on Saturday as he kicked off his campaign to become prime minister.

Labour took power in 1997 under Tony Blair. Brown replaced him as premier in June 2007.

Asked why voters should plump for the 58-year-old Scot for another term, Brown said: "Because he knows how to deal with the British economy's problems and take us through them and he knows what sort of economy we can build for the future.

"He's got a passionate desire to improve our public services and his whole career has been built on wanting to see everybody realise their potential to the full."

He said: "I have managed this country through good times and difficult economic times and we can manage through the next stage, which is moving from recession to growth to high levels of growth and employment."

Brown would not be drawn on a date for the general election, which he can call at any time before the current five-year parliament expires at midnight on May 10.

He said there would be a Labour budget this spring "if it's at the right time". A budget is due before March 9.