Monday, 10 May 2010

With dignity I shall go. Thank you Gordon.

Gordon Brown will resign as Labour leader later on this year, but will remain in place for the time being to facilitate the formal negotiations between Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the hope of forming a "progressive coalition". For Brown, he has "no desire to stay in [his] position longer than is needed to ensure that the path to progress is assured". With dignity he shall resign.

This was, of course, a political decision. Whilst negotiations between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories are perpetuating, whisperings from within both camps have told of a number of "sticking points" and certain "red lines" not being crossed. The Tories have just announced that they have offered the Liberal Democrats a referendum on the Alternative Vote system. But this will be no panacea to their differences, and maybe not even the electoral reform the Liberal Democrats so wished for. And there still remains disagreements (ideological and political) over the EU, immigrations and defence.

Whilst David Miliband has somewhat prematurely declared that he will enter a leadership contest, we should all (whatever your political persuasion) stand and laud Gordon Brown. Lest we all forget his achievements as Chancellor, and also as Prime Minister too. As Chancellor he gave the Bank of England operational independence, sustained economic growth and reducing unemployment. As Prime Minister, he handled the banking crisis with calmness and skill. A true economic doyen.

I shall in the next few days be setting out my predictions and hopes for the future of the Labour Party. But for now out of deference and thanks, this is time to say 'thank you' to Gordon Brown.

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