Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Saturday, 26 July 2008 19:46 UK

Brown dismisses resignation calls

Gordon Brown outlines his priorities

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has dismissed calls for his resignation, saying he is determined to take the "right decisions" for the country.

He was speaking on a visit to a country park in Norfolk, at the start of his summer holiday.

Questions have been raised about Mr Brown's leadership after Labour's shock defeat at the Glasgow East by-election.

It comes as ministers, unions and activists meet to discuss a blueprint for the next election manifesto.

Mr Brown and his wife Sarah started their summer holidays with a visit to Whitlingham Country Park, near Norwich, ahead of a break at the seaside resort of Southwold, Suffolk.

Mr Brown said: "I'm getting on with the job and I think it's important that in difficult economic circumstances we take the right decisions for the future to get fuel prices down, to get food prices down, to make sure we get the housing market moving...

"That's my first and major interest in getting on with the job."

Gordon Brown meets visitors at Whitlingham Country Park
The PM took the opportunity to talk to other visitors at the country park

BBC political correspondent David Thompson said Mr Brown had expressed similar sentiments before, but his allies want him to give more details about a "bolder vision" to reconnect with voters.

Mr Brown added he was looking forward to spending time with his wife and sons on the beach and reading in the garden.

"I think everybody's ready for a holiday at this time of year," he said.

'Understanding concerns'

The BBC has learned that senior Labour Party figures - including some former ministers - are considering possible options for unseating Mr Brown.

On Friday GMB union leader Paul Kenny called for Mr Brown to face a leadership challenge this autumn.

"The MPs have got to have the courage of their convictions if they've got them, and my advice to them is 'get on with it'," he said.

But several Labour figures, including ex-home secretary David Blunkett, have been warning MPs not to plot against Mr Brown.

The justice secretary has not called on the Labour Party to back Gordon Brown

Mr Blunkett told the BBC: "It would change nothing in terms of the big challenges over food and fuel prices, over the world economy.

"What will change things is all of us acting as a team. Those in the cabinet pulling together, backing Gordon Brown, ensuring that people get the message that this Labour government is a collective."

Justice Secretary Jack Straw has been touted as a caretaker leader, but he has made it known he wants Labour to close ranks behind Mr Brown.

However, he is yet to come out publicly in support of the prime minister.

John Hannett, general secretary of shopworkers' union Usdaw, has also warned against leadership speculation.

"The party has to listen and I think all of us have a responsibility - it's not about one individual," he said.

The SNP won Glasgow East - previously considered one of Labour's safest seats - by 365 votes, achieving a 22.54% swing.

Meanwhile, Mr Brown received reassurance from US presidential candidate Barack Obama, who met the prime minister at Downing Street before he headed off on holiday.

Senator Obama said: "You're always more popular before you're actually in charge.

"Once you're responsible then you're going to make some people unhappy."

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