Brown prepares to take over as next British PM
May 11, 2007 - 3:28:13 PM

London, May 11 - Prime Minister Tony Blair Friday endorsed the candidature of Chancellor Gordon Brown as the next Labour leader, paving the way for him to take over as the next prime minister of Britain in June.

After announcing his plans Thursday to step down on June 27, Blair said he gave 'full support' to Brown's leadership bid. Brown is the overwhelming favourite to win the leadership contest.

Brown's election is a foregone conclusion, given his stature in the party, and his record as one of the most successful chancellors of the exchequer in British history. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rica has already gone on record to say that the US looks forward to working with Brown as prime minister.

Brown Friday prepared to launch his campaign, under the slogan 'Brown for Britain', with a tour of marginal constituencies in the southeast of England, where he will set out his proposals to make the country a 'better and fairer' place.

Labour leader in the House of Commons Jack Straw, who is Brown's campaign manager, said he wanted to 'reach out' to the voters that had brought Labour to power in 1997.

Straw told BBC that Brown wanted to 'build on the achievements of ... Tony Blair as well as listening and learning from the things that haven't gone as well'. He would also recognise 'that life today in 2007 is different from life in 1997'.

Blair's successor will be formally announced at a special party conference on June 24.

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