Labour must adapt, admits weary Brown
Gordon Brown yesterday admitted that the Labour party would have to rethink the way it governs if it is to win at the next general election.
In an unusually candid interview, the Prime Minister conceded that the government needed to do more to convince voters that it deserves an historic fourth term.
He made the comments ahead of his high-stakes performance at Labour’s annual conference in Manchester later this month, widely seen as one of the last chances to quell doubt over his leadership. Backbenchers have dubbed it the “speech of his life”.
Labour is struggling to stem a Tory surge in the polls while Brown is facing questions over his performance as Prime Minister, after the party lost two supposedly safe seats in successive and embarrassing defeats.
The Prime Minister admitted that Labour needed to “rethink” its approach in the pre-conference interview for The Monitor magazine.
But he stressed that the economic problems were global, and not a result of his ten years as chancellor.
He said: “I believe that Britain is well placed to withstand the shocks that these transformations bring, but if we are to seize on the opportunities these new challenges present, then the country, the Government, and New Labour must do more.
“Whether global or domestic, deep seated or just fleeting, the pressures that we face in the short-term and the long-term have all changed since New Labour first came into Government.
“And so, the way we govern must change too. That is why in Manchester this year it is time to adapt and rethink New Labour policy.”
Brown also responded to doubts over his leadership, describing his determination to show that he can take the Labour party to victory at the next election.
“What I ask of our country, our Government, and our party, cannot be done without leadership.
“So, at conference in Manchester and in the weeks that follow, I will set out how I must rise to conquer those challenges” he said.