Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 09:24 UK

US host asks Brown about eyesight

Gordon Brown on NBC
Gordon Brown was questioned by NBC host Brian Williams

Gordon Brown has been forced to deny suggestions he is slowly going blind.

The prime minister lost the sight in his left eye as a child, but he was asked in an interview on US television if his other eye was now also failing.

Mr Brown, who is in New York for a United Nations summit, insisted: "My sight is not at all deteriorating."

On Wednesday, the PM dismissed a suggestion by former home secretary Charles Clarke that he may stand down as Labour leader citing poor health.

Mr Clarke raised doubts about Mr Brown's wellbeing in an interview with the Evening Standard newspaper, saying the prime minister's "own dignity" could prompt him to use it as a reason to resign before the next election.

But asked about the remarks, Mr Brown told BBC Radio 5 live he had no health problems.

"I'm healthy and very fit. I run a lot to keep fit," he said. "I keep going and I've got a job to do."

Mr Brown was speaking to NBC Nightly News on Wednesday when he was asked by anchor Brian Williams about reports that he needed documents to be printed in large text.

He replied: "I lost the sight in one of my eyes playing sports - I was playing rugby when I was very young.

"I had all sorts of operations. I then had one operation on the other eye and that was very successful, so my sight is not at all deteriorating."

Print Sponsor

Clarke warns of poll 'hammering'
23 Sep 09 |  Politics
Brown "right leader" for Labour
13 Sep 09 |  Politics
Clarkson apologises for PM remark
09 Feb 09 |  Entertainment
Brown reveals sight saved by NHS
26 Jun 08 |  Scotland
Brown heads disabled power list
03 Aug 06 |  Politics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific