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Brown gives local paper first interview as ex-PM

Gordon Brown’s local newspaper yesterday bagged the first interview with the former Prime Minister following his resignation – and revealed he would be staying on as an MP.

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Mr Brown quit Number 10 on Tuesday evening and returned overnight to Scotland.

The following day, he spoke to his local weekly the Fife Free Press, confirming that he was not quitting politics or giving up his seat as had been widely reported by national media pundits.

Mr Brown told the paper: “I’m going to be working hard in my job as MP for the people of Kirkcaldy and spending more time on local issues.”

The former Prime Minister was returned to the seat with an emphatic 23,000 majority at last Thursday’s general election.

Yet ill-informed speculation over his future in politics mounted on Tuesday night after he revealed he was giving up the party leadership with immediate effect rather than staying on to oversee the transition to a new leader.

Several commentators predicted he would follow the example of his predecessor Tony Blair and vacate his seat at the same time as quitting the premiership.

But Mr Brown’s election agent Alex Rowley said yesterday there was “never any question” he would continue as a backbench MP and Mr Brown himself confirmed it in his Free Press interview.

He also spoke of his feelings about his emotional departure from Number 10 on Tuesday night accompanies by wife Sarah and sons John and Fraser.

“We wanted to leave Downing Street as a family. That was very important,” he told the paper.

“I was humbled by the support last Thursday and the majority they gave me. I thank them for that support.

“People were so good to me last week and to have that support was fantastic.”


Onlooker (13/05/2010 10:16:10)
Staying on as an MP ? Brown tried to swindle the English electorate out of their votes. He’s an utter disgrace, both as a man and as a devious politican. If they had any sense, the good people of Fife would employ him as an odd-job man – and only in places where he could be tagged and closely monitored.

hilary (13/05/2010 10:55:34)
The only people who tried to swindle us out of our money were the bankers, Onlooker. And I imagine you don’t need tax credits, fuel allowances, nursery education for your kids, or urgent NHS care. Hmm. Not an underpaid JP journalist, then. Probably not a provincial journalist at all, in fact, or you’d have needed the benefits of the last 13 years.

Onlooker (13/05/2010 11:11:42)
Too many muddled assumptions there, Hilary. I was always taught never to assume anything by my first provincial editor as you tend to make an ‘ass…’ of yourself. He was spot on in your case.

Andy (13/05/2010 12:10:09)
Onlooker, regardless of your obvious opposition to Gordon Brown, his constituency voted pretty heavily in vavour of him representing them in Westminster.

All Subbed Out (13/05/2010 12:23:58)
I thought this was a website about journalism, not a political rant space. Does no-one want to say congratulations to a local newspaper with its head screwed on that told its local readership something that mattered, and upheld the balance against skewed, uninformed speculation in the nationals?

Former hack off for a cup of tea (13/05/2010 12:40:59)
A good point well made by All Subbed Out. Congratulations must go to the team up there for a balanced and well written story. It just goes to show that you do not need a mobile broadcast unit outside Westminster to get great political scoops.

Hacked off (13/05/2010 13:36:07)
Onlooker, your idiotic ranting is totally irrelevant, not to mention utter nonsense. Congratulations to the team who got that political scoop – a great job well done!

ajinexile (13/05/2010 13:39:28)
I concur with the’hack and sub’ view that Fife Free Press deserve congratulations for their timely interview — beating the nationals, and giving pundits a collective red face. Is Onlooker after a Skye TV interviewing job, oerchance?

KayB (13/05/2010 14:10:27)
I agree with your balanced comments, Onlooker. Brown should have earned everyone’s distrust – you couldn’t believe a word the man said.

Col Kurtz (13/05/2010 14:12:00)
Onlooker you are a bitter and twisted useless old sub with nothing positive to contribute.
Congrats to the team involved – good story

Miss McDoogal (13/05/2010 15:32:05)
What a great story to get. Well done team. Also, good of Brown to not bypass his local paper and speak to the nationals first.

Onlooker (13/05/2010 15:45:14)
I don’t know anything about the Fife Free Press but God help us if anyone thought Brown did this becauses he ‘cares’ a jot about them. Draining the private sector pension pot for his own selfish political ends was more his style, as well as ignoring the very real hardship that causes to thousands of pensioners. Col Kurtz,I’ve done every job in newspapers, from editor to tea-maker. I don’t work as a sub now, bitter, twisted or otherwise.

Disillusioned (17/05/2010 13:48:44)
Fair play to Gordon for giving the scoop to his local rag rather than ones of the faceless nationals.

Vitriol quencher (17/05/2010 15:37:30)
If Onlooker knows Brown so well, why didn’t he get the scoop?
Regardless of any experience you may have in the news industry, Onlooker, you make yourself sound vitriol-dripping hate monger.