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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007, 15:52 GMT
PM picks charity Christmas cards
Gordon Brown will not appear on his official Christmas cards

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's first Christmas card to be sent from Number 10 will feature a drawing of a group of children moving a Christmas tree.

The charity card marks a shift from his predecessor Tony Blair who favoured cards featuring himself and his family.

This year's official Number 10 card designed by the artist Shirley Hughes, supports the reading charity Booktrust.

The decision to send charity cards continues a tradition started at the Treasury when Mr Brown was chancellor.

The card features 10 smiling children with a cat and a dog. One of the boys has the number 10 on the back of his jacket and a little girl is holding aloft a sign saying Happy Christmas.

Past leaders

A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Brown asked Shirley Hughes to design the card as a way of marking the national year of reading in 2008.

"All proceeds from the card will go to Booktrust, an independent national charity that encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to discover and enjoy reading," he said.

Chancellor Alistair Darling will send cards bearing a picture of a jolly red Santa by youngster Matthew Powell which support the charity, Every Disabled Child Matters.

Tony Blair usually sent cards featuring specially-commissioned photographs of him with his wife Cherie, and sometimes his children.

Last year, Mr Blair's official card showed him standing on a staircase slightly above his wife with his arm around her.

The wall behind them was covered with images of past leaders and the banister was festooned with garlands.

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