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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 December, 2003, 12:51 GMT
Brown puts family matters first
Gordon Brown
Brown says he has passed the nappy-changing test
Forget the alleged Downing Street deal with Tony Blair. Forget Prudence, and forget the economy.

What matters most to Gordon Brown is being a father.

"I am a father first of all," the chancellor said in an interview on Sunday.

"Everything else must take its place in the context of that.

"My responsibilities I see very clearly - seeing a young child grow up."

Mr Brown's wife Sarah gave birth to the couple's son John last month.

It followed the tragic death of their daughter Jennifer soon after her birth last year.


Although there is still an enormous amount of sadness after two years there is joy in the morning
Gordon Brown
The chancellor told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost: "I hope because of what happened to us when Jennifer died that we have been able to help other people who felt that maybe it could never work for them.

"Although there is still an enormous amount of sadness after two years there is joy in the morning. You do feel that you can move forward."

Mr Brown was asked how he was adapting to life with a young son.

"It is sleepless nights - this time not because of the economy," he said.

"I do get the chance to play with John first thing in the morning.

"It is fascinating to see a young child even after a few weeks develop...his movements and how he sees shapes and colours.

"Orange and red seem to be the colours that attract him."


Mr Brown paid tribute to the hospital staff at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

He said: "We have been so fortunate with such wonderful doctors and nurses and midwives.

"They have helped us so much and they really are friends and they will stay friends for the rest of our lives."

So had the chancellor got the hang of nappy-changing?

"I have done my best," he said. "Before Sarah was able to leave hospital I had to be able to prove that I could change nappies.

"I got near to passing on the third attempt."

The chancellor's challenge
03 Apr 03  |  Business
Browns' baby dies in hospital
07 Jan 02  |  Scotland
Joy as chancellor weds
03 Aug 00  |  UK
Profile: Gordon Brown
03 Apr 03  |  Politics

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