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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 June 2007, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Gordon Brown speech: key points
Gordon Brown
Mr Brown said the party needed to make housing a priority

Chancellor Gordon Brown outlined his vision for Labour as he become its new leader on Sunday, before taking over as prime minister from Tony Blair on Wednesday.

Here are the key points of his speech made at a special conference in Manchester.

TONY BLAIR

"All of us will remember his leadership - his leadership has made Britain stronger, more tolerant, more prosperous and fairer.

"And let us never forget his towering presence in the international community, his work on Africa, climate change, his work to win the Olympics for Britain, and the skills and determination he brought to securing peace in Northern Ireland.

"Tony Blair's achievements are unprecedented, historic and enduring."

THE PARTY'S FUTURE

Mr Brown said the party needed to adapt to meet new challenges, such as climate change, global competition and extremism.

He also said the way the government connected to the public also needed to change.

"We are learning an inescapable truth: it is only by engaging people in the decisions that matter to their lives, only by a new government building trust by involving the British people, that we as a country will meet the new challenges of 2007 and beyond.

"So as people's aspirations and priorities change, we the Labour Party must renew ourselves as the party of change."

HOUSING

Mr Brown said housing would be a priority and that, unlike in previous decades, owning property would not be for the few.

"The housing minister will attend cabinet and will lead the national debate on the new homes we must build.

"And this time the promise of a property-owning democracy must be open to all those wanting to get on the housing ladder for the first time.

"And because we need to build new homes not just to own but to rent, we will bring together the private sector, housing associations and local authorities to renew the promise of social housing for our communities.

"By building new eco-towns and villages we will show Labour on the side of aspiration, that new housing can respect our environment too, and that by involving and engaging the British people in a national debate about the future of housing we can make affordable housing for all one of the great causes of our time."

EDUCATION

Businesses, universities, colleges and the voluntary sector will be brought together to improve education, he said.

"Every secondary school - trusts, specialists or academies - linked to a business, every school linked to a college or university.

"Step by step we will raise investment in state school pupils - now 5,500 per pupil - to today's levels for private school pupils: 8,000 a year."

Mr Brown said every young person would have the chance to go to college or university or enrol on an apprenticeship, or pre-apprenticeship course, as the route to a career.

"From thousands of children benefiting from Sure Start to thousands staying on to 18, I want for our young people the biggest expansion in educational opportunity our country has ever seen."

CHILD POVERTY

"To address this poverty of income and to address also the poverty of aspirations by better parenting, better schools and more one-to-one support, I want to bring together all the forces of compassion - charities, voluntary sector, local councils so that at the heart of building a better Britain is the cause of ending child poverty."

HEALTH SERVICE

He said the party still needed to improve health services by providing better access for patients at the hours that suited them and better food, hygiene and cleanliness standards.

There was also a need to provide "the wider range of services now needed by our growing elderly population" and the government needed to be better at "listening to and valuing our staff", he said.

"And in the NHS we will also make progress by putting more power locally in the hands of patients and staff.

"So I propose that as we approach the 60th anniversary of the NHS we discuss a new settlement for a modern NHS free at the point of need - clear about where accountability lies - clear where government should set overall objectives, clear where it should not interfere, and clear how independently local people should have their voice heard and acted upon in shaping the future of the NHS.

"And it is right that this party that created the NHS, that has always invested in the NHS, that has always believed in the NHS, will be the party that for the coming generation, renews the NHS."

BRITISH IDENTITY

"We must be far clearer in speaking up for the common ground upon which we stand - the shared British values of liberty, civic duty and fairness to all.

"Let us affirm that in return for opportunity for all that we expect and demand responsibility from all: to learn English, contribute to and respect the culture we build together - and not just the hard working majority but everyone must play by the rules.

"But let us affirm also that no matter your class, colour or creed every individual citizen has the right to rise as far as your talents take you.

"That is why our way of life is to reject the prejudice and discrimination practised by those who preach xenophobia and racism."

FOREIGN POLICY

Mr Brown said that Iraq had been "a divisive issue" for the party and country, but said that Britain would meet its international obligations in Afghanistan and in the Middle East.

"We will learn lessons that need to be learned, and at all times be unyielding in support for our dedicated armed forces, and resolute in our determination to take the tough decisions to ensure the long term defence and security of our country.

"Our foreign policy in years ahead will reflect the truth that to isolate and defeat terrorist extremism now involves more than military force - it is also a struggle of ideas and ideals that in the coming years will be waged and won for hearts and minds here at home and round the world.

"And an essential contribution to this will be what becomes daily more urgent - a Middle East settlement upholding a two-state solution, that protects the security of Israel and the legitimate enduring desire for a Palestinian state."

WORLD POVERTY

"We will strengthen and enhance the work of the department of international development and align aid, debt relief and trade policies to wage an unremitting battle against the poverty, illiteracy, disease and environmental degradation that it has fallen to our generation to eradicate."

GOVERNMENT

Mr Brown said that he wanted to renew people's trust in government by giving more power to parliament and people.

Parliament would vote on "all the major issues of our time including peace and war", he said.

He also pledged to strengthen local government and to set up citizens' forums and juries where people would have the chance to debate concerns.

"I tell you: the power of government can never substitute for the empowerment of people. The days of Whitehall ever thinking it knows best are over.

"We need government that does not overreach but reaches out; government as servant at all times putting opportunity in the hands of people.

"That's why I want a new constitutional settlement for Britain."

NEXT ELECTION

"Don't let anyone tell you the choice at the next election will be change with other parties and no change with Labour.

"Because when I take office on Wednesday I will, as our party has always done, heed and lead the call of change."




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