Ex-British PM Gordon Brown to leave politics

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2014 12:42 PM
Ex-British PM Gordon Brown to leave politics

LONDON (AP) — Rivals and allies paid tribute Monday to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who plans to step down from Parliament at a national election in May.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Brown has "given a huge amount in terms of public service and his contribution in government and in Parliament."

Brown is due to make a speech Monday evening in his home town of Kirkcaldy, Scotland. British media say he will announce he is leaving Parliament after 32 years.

Brown, 63, served as Treasury chief under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair for a decade from 1997, becoming prime minister when Blair stepped down in 2007.

He won praise for his handling of the 2008 financial crisis, but his premiership was dogged by gaffes and he failed to win the 2010 election, which produced a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

"Like all politicians Gordon Brown will be remembered for a variety of reasons but no one should ever forget that when the world economy stood on the abyss it was his determined action which persuaded many countries to take the cumulative steps which ensured that there was not a global depression," said former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell.

Brown played a major role in the campaign for a "No" vote in September's Scottish independence referendum, including a passionate last-minute speech that was credited with helping the "Better Together" campaign win.

He is currently a United Nations special envoy for global education and has worked closely with teenage campaigner Malala Yousafzai.