Brown discusses ‘new politics’ at Labour forum

Gordon Brown has said that new challenges in the UK require a “new kind of politics” at the Labour party’s policy forum in London.

In a speech which took a general look at Labour’s policy direction rather than discussing specific policies, Mr Brown said that tasks facing the party in 1997 remained and were joined by new challenges.

The prime minister said that along with economic stability and investment in public services, the risks faced from terrorism and climate change were the serious challenges.

He noted that the government would try to “separate those who are extremists from the mainstream majority” and commended the home secretary Jacqui Smith for her actions during last month’s terror alerts.

In relation to the environment, Mr Brown said he wanted Labour to show it had “the long-term answers to climate change”.

As is typical of party policy forums, the prime minister focused on domestic policy and mentioned his recent “theme” of constitutional reform.

He remarked that the changes were not a “dry, abstract” event occurring in Westminster, but a serious aspect of reform in making the government more accountable to parliament.

Among the other significant topics broached by Mr Brown was the NHS, which the Labour leader said his party would “renew . for the people of this country”.

He added the health service’s facilities had to be “closer to people” and more adaptable to people’s needs.

In reference to activities for the country’s young people, Mr Brown said facilities for teenagers would be looked at for all times of the day to prevent groups of youngsters having nothing to do.

Mr Brown concluded on his ambitions for solutions to global issues, such as education for all and the eradication of certain diseases.

In relation to schools, Mr Brown said that “for 80 million [children] . we are denying them that opportunity at the moment”.

He added that he wanted “the Labour party . to lead that campaign” to build schools throughout the world.