Brown denies ill health rumours

By politics.co.uk

Gordon Brown was forced to rebut rumours that his health was deteriorating yesterday after Charles Clarke suggested he may stand down as Labour leader due to poor health.

The former home secretary made the comments during a scathing attack on Mr Brown’s premiership in London’s Evening Standard newspaper.

Suggesting that Gordon Brown could step down citing ill health, Mr Clarke said: “I think his own dignity ought to look to that kind of solution.”

Mr Brown defended himself against the accusations of poor health and denied that he would be standing down as Labour leader before the general election.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live he said: “I am healthy and I am very fit. I run a lot to keep fit and I will continue to keep fit.

“I keep going. I have got a job to do. I have got work to do. We have got to meet this challenge.”

It is the first time that the prime minister has been forced to answer questions about his health.

Last night Mr Brown was asked to respond to allegations that he was going blind by a news anchor on NBC Nightly News.

The prime minister replied: “I lost the sight in one of my eyes playing sports – I was playing rugby when I was very young.

“I had all sorts of operations. I then had one operation on the other eye and that was very successful, so my sight is not at all deteriorating.”

Mr Clarke’s attack has come at a very bad time for the prime minister, who battling rumours that he is being snubbed by Barack Obama over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.