x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Brown resigns as UK prime minister

Gordon Brown went to Buckingham Palace to resign today as his two chief rivals sought to finalise a coalition deal to create a new government.

LONDON // The British prime minister, Gordon Brown, headed to Buckingham Palace to resign today, bringing the Labour Party's 13-year hold on power to a close as his two chief rivals sealed a coalition deal to create a new government. Brown's visit to inform Queen Elizabeth II of his resignation allows the Conservative Party leader, David Cameron to become Britain's next prime minister by cobbling together a majority of seats in Parliament with the third-placed Liberal Democrats. A clearly emotional Mr Brown told the media outside 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's residence in London: "I have informed the Queen's private secretary that it is my intention to tender my resignation to the Queen." He said he would ask the monarch to invite Cameron to form a government and wished the new leader well. After his brief statement, Mr Brown walked hand-in-hand with his wife Sarah and young sons John and Fraser down Downing Street, where a car waited to take him to the palace. Mr Brown's resignation ends five days of uncertainty after last week's general election left the country with no clear winner. Mr Cameron's Conservatives won the most seats but fell short of a majority, forcing them to bid against the Labour Party for the loyalty of the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats held talks with both parties - and are more ideologically in tune with Labour - but the talks with Labour faltered. Many Labour officials felt it was time to go into the opposition after coming a distant second to the Conservatives in the vote.