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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 01:16 GMT 02:16 UK
Brown promises to 'build trust'
Gordon and Sarah Brown
Mr Brown will not face a contest to be Labour leader

Gordon Brown has promised to build trust in politics, as he sets out his priorities as the next prime minister.

Mr Brown, who will replace Tony Blair as Labour leader and prime minister from 27 June, said he wanted a "different kind of politics".

With 313 Labour MPs nominating him, there were not enough left to allow his only rival to get onto the ballot.

Mr Blair will continue as PM for now, leading Tories to attack the "ludicrous situation of a caretaker government".

Accepting his nomination as Labour leader, Mr Brown repeatedly said he would "listen and learn".

G8 summit

He said it was "absolutely right" that Mr Blair continue as prime minister for the next six weeks, attending the G8 and EU summits - although he said they would "consult and talk".

He said he would use the time to travel around, meeting people in the NHS, schools, police and community leaders, to help shape his policy programme.

I believe government only works when it's dedicated to serving the people
Gordon Brown

"To build trust in our democracy, I'm sure we need a more open form of dialogue with citizens and politicians to genuinely talk about problems and solutions.

"It is about a different type of politics, a more open and honest dialogue," he said.

He acknowledged that there had been "very big divisions of public opinion over Iraq", but said the British public understood the need to support the Iraqi government.

He promised to listen to the people "too often left unheard" and to reach out to those who had "lost faith" in politics.

Overwhelming favourite

The chancellor, who has long been the overwhelming favourite to succeed Tony Blair, was officially confirmed as the sole candidate on Thursday, when his only rival - the left wing MP John McDonnell, failed to get the 45 nominations required to get onto the ballot paper.

Mr Brown's campaign manager Jack Straw later admitted they were "gently surprised" by the scale of the chancellor's support.

Hilary Benn - 47
Hazel Blears - 49
Jon Cruddas - 49
Peter Hain - 51
Harriet Harman - 65
Alan Johnson - 73

He got the backing of 313 of the 352 Labour MPs who were voting - making it "mathematically impossible" for Mr McDonnell to secure 45.

Mr Brown said it was a sign that Labour was unified behind him and not willing to "retreat to the past".

But his political opponents said the fact he would not go to a ballot of Labour members and trade unionists nationwide, meant he could not claim a mandate.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: called for a General election saying the country was "entitled to pass judgement" on whether he became PM.

And Conservative leader David Cameron, who has also called for a general election, said: "We need an end to this ludicrous situation of having a caretaker government.

"We are going to have weeks of a prime minister on a farewell tour when the government should be getting on with the business of governing the country."

Deputy leader John Prescott will step down with Mr Blair on 27 June and the contest for his job is considerably more crowded.

Six contenders - five ministers and a backbencher - have all secured the required 45 nominations each and will now begin a series of hustings around the UK, starting on Sunday in Coventry.

Voting forms will go out to Labour Party members, MEPs and trade unionists from 1 June, with the ballot due to close on Friday, 22 June.

The new deputy leader will be unveiled at a special Labour conference on Sunday, 24 June, when Mr Brown will be crowned the party's new leader.

The contenders are International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, backbencher Jon Cruddas, Education Secretary Alan Johnson, Justice Minister Harriet Harman, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain and Labour chairman Hazel Blears.

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