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Cablegate: Gordon Brown Takes Over As Prime Minister

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #2461 1781410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271410Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4169
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS LONDON 002461

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/UBI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UK
SUBJECT: GORDON BROWN TAKES OVER AS PRIME MINISTER

REF: LONDON 2446

(U) SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED; PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

1. (SBU) Gordon Brown is the UK's new Prime Minister. Right
on schedule, Tony Blair submitted his resignation to the
Queen shortly after 1:00 p.m. today June 27. Within minutes,
the Queen had summoned Brown to Buckingham Palace and invited
him to form a Government, as Leader of the party that
commands a majority in the House of Commons. He was
officially declared Leader of the Labour Party on June 24
(reftel), a formality given that he was unopposed. Both the
Blair and Brown camps, which have a long history of feuding,
have expressed pride in the stable, orderly transition that
the party has achieved. For Brown, today stands as the
culmination of a quest that goes back well before Blair took
over the party in 1994 following the sudden death of John
Smith. In a brief statement to reporters upon his arrival at
Number 10 Downing Street, Brown pledged to head a "government
of all the talents" with "new priorities," aiming to provide
"the best of chances for everyone" in Britain to achieve
their full potential and make this country "the great global
success story of this century."

2. (U) The composition of Brown's Cabinet is expected to be
known by tomorrow; some key appointments may be made public
before the end of today.

3. (U) At his last Prime Minister's Questions earlier today,
Blair was treated to a gracious send-off including an
unprecedented standing ovation as he walked out after the
half-hour session. He is reportedly on the train to his
constituency of Sedgefield where he is expected to announce
this evening that he is standing down as an MP after 24
years. This will allow him to concentrate on trying to help
advance the Middle East peace process. At this writing, we
do not have official confirmation that he is being named as
the Quartet's special envoy, but British media are treating
it as a done deal.

Visit London's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/london/index. cfm
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