Brown receives help from down under

Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd gave his firm backing to British counterpart Gordon Brown in a video message to the Labour conference this afternoon.

Speaking from Australia he restated his admiration for the prime minister’s “passion” and “vision” at a time when Mr Brown’s leadership has found itself under criticism from a minority of Labour supporters.

A personal friend of Mr Brown, Mr Rudd said the pair had developed a close friendship long before they emerged to prominence on the global stage.

Mr Rudd praised Mr Brown’s “absolute clarity of his vision for our planet’s future” and his “rock-solid reliability” in “doing what he says he will do”.

“That is where leadership is necessary,” he told delegates via videolink. “That is where global leadership is necessary. That is where British global leadership is necessary – of the type I have seen for more than a year now from Gordon Brown.”

He finished by praising Mr Brown’s ability to “look beyond the horizon of domestic politics”, saying this enabled him to “deal with the great challenges of our age”.