Brown affirms leadership ahead of Labour conference

By politics.co.uk staff

Gordon Brown has made a firm confirmation of his leadership ahead of Labour’s annual conference in Brighton.

As delegates gathered by the sea to attend four days of meetings and speeches, Mr Brown appeared on the Andrew Marr show to assure viewers he would lead the party into the next general election.

Asked if the party had lost the will to live, Mr Brown said: “Not at all.

“A setback can either be a challenge that means it’s an opportunity to do something better or you roll over. I do not roll over.

“The setback for me is the challenge, the opportunity, to learn of course if you make mistakes and to do things better.”

He also addressed questions surrounding his health. The rumours emerged during a trip to the US last week about his use of painkillers and whether his sight in his remaining eye was failing.

Mr Marr asked the prime minister directly whether he used prescription painkillers.

“No. I think this is the sort of questioning which is all too often entering the lexicon of British politics,” Mr Brown replied.

The interview comes after a damaging article appeared in the Observer by chancellor Alistair Darling, in which he appeared to suggest Labour had lost the will to fight.

Mr Brown promised to persevere with reform of the banking system.

“Enough is enough,” he said.

“I am not going to stand by and allow people to return to the bad old days.

“Just as we will have a Fiscal Responsibility Act to deal with public finances, we will come back and we will have a new Business and Financial Services Act as well that will ban the old bonus systems and make it impossible for firms to go back to using them.”

The prime minister will be wary of further criticism of his leadership this week after new developments emerged in the case of Baroness Scotland, who retained her position last week despite employing an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper.

Loloahi Tapui told the Mail this morning that Baroness Scotland had never seen her passport.