|74th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
|Term of office|
June 27 2007 - present
|Political party||Labour Party|
|Preceded by||Tony Blair|
|Born|| February 20 1951 |
|Religion||Church of Scotland|
Dr. James Gordon Brown, generally known as Gordon Brown, is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the British Labour Party. He succeeded Tony Blair in these positions in June 2007.
A Scottish Labour politician, Brown served as Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer for ten years. His mutual enmity with former Prime Minister Blair was a consistent feature of British political life for a number of years.
In Britain, Brown is seen as being a more somber, sober and serious figure in contrast to Tony Blair, who is regarded as charismatic and has at times been perceived as lightweight and as an overly "slick" media performer (not unlike Bill Clinton). This resonates with a stereotype that many English people have of Scottish people being humorless and dour. Brown's father was a Minister in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and it is thought that Brown's religious beliefs have influenced his serious, sober style. On the negative side, some believe that he is insufficiently likeable and sunny to appeal to voters. He has also been criticized for secretiveness, control-freakery and an awkward personal style.
Brown was one of the longest serving Chancellors in history, and has taken credit for the consistently healthy state of the British economy during his tenure. He is a passionate advocate of reducing poverty in the Third World. He has also acquired a reputation for being strongly patriotic, following speeches in which he has praised the concept of "Britishness" and suggested that Britons should display the British flag outside their houses, as many Americans do with the US flag. However, his patriotic convictions are expected to have consequences in foreign policy which are arguably negative: it is widely believed that he will be zealous in defending British interests (narrowly defined), but that he will neglect broader elements of Tony Blair's foreign policy such as support for the United States and the War on Terror.
During Brown's tenure as Chancellor, the UK enjoyed sustained economic growth and generally positive reports from the International Monetary Fund, although there were concerns at extreme inflationary pressures in the housing market. At the same time, he has followed a generally redistributionary policy, increasing spending in the National Health Service and education, whilst giving tax breaks to poorer families. His most significant achievement in the early days of the Labour Government was to grant fiscal independence to the Bank of England.
Just two days after the Brown ministry began, Islamic terrorists initiated several attempted attacks against Great Britain, consisting of two car bombs in London on June 29 and a suicide-bomb attack at Glasgow International Airport on June 30.