Gordon Brown Not to Contest in Next General Election

H S Rao/London
Gordon Brown Not to Contest in Next General Election

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he will not contest in next general elections, drawing the curtain on a three-decade-long political career.

The former Labour prime minister confirmed in a speech yesterday that he does not intend to run again in his Fife constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath in Scotland.

His retirement from parliament had been rumoured for weeks after he played a leading role in the Scottish referendum campaign but then ruled out any possibility of standing to be the leader of Scottish Labour.

63-year-old Brown was chancellor for a decade from the start of Tony Blair's premiership in 1997 to the day when he took over as prime minister in 2007, before losing the job to David Cameron at the last election.

He has been an MP since 1983, representing Dunfermline East until 2005, when he took on his current seat after boundary changes.

Since the last election, Brown has not made many high-profile appearances in the Commons, while focusing on his charity work and role as a United Nations envoy for education.

However, he made a significant intervention in the last weeks of the Scottish referendum campaign as the polls tightened.

In a speech that captivated his audience, he promised a package of major devolutionary measures in a move credited with helping the Better Together campaign win the referendum.

During his time as chancellor, Brown had a reputation for ruling the Treasury with an iron fist and his fractious relationship with Blair dominated the headlines, including speculation over when he would take over the top job.

As prime minister, he governed at a time of extreme financial turmoil, including the housing market crash and banking bailouts, before being voted out of office in 2010.

His decision to stand down means there is a Commons exodus of major parliamentary figures of the Blair-Brown era from the Labour benches.

Alistair Darling, David Blunkett, Jack Straw, Dame Tessa Jowell, Peter Hain, Hazel Blears and Frank Dobson are among those leaving their seats.

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