Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 12:01 UK

Labour will win election - Brown

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gordon Brown
Mr Brown met President Karzai for talks on reconstruction of Afghanistan

Gordon Brown has left London for the Olympics declaring Labour will "go on and win" the next general election.

The PM, who is visiting Afghanistan en route to Beijing, also dismissed talk of an early cabinet reshuffle and rift with Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

He said his government would deal with the issues people were concerned about - mortgages and rising energy prices.

It comes as an Ipsos/Mori opinion poll has given the Tories a record 24-point lead over Labour.

Some 1,005 voters were questioned by telephone between 15 and 17 August and 48% said they would vote Conservative.

'Going to win'

Speaking to journalists for the first time after his summer break, Mr Brown said ministers were working on measures to help families struggling with rising bills and mortgages.

"These are the issues that they want us to deal with. You will see us dealing with some of these issues as we come back in September," he said.

The article he wrote in The Guardian was an article that any member of the cabinet could have written or I could have written
Gordon Brown on David Miliband

When asked about Labour's election prospects, he said: "We are going to go on and win."

The 24% poll gap between Labour and the Conservatives is believed to be the biggest gap recorded since Ipsos/Mori's records began in 1977.

Later at a joint press conference with President Karzai in Kabul, Mr Brown was repeatedly asked about leadership challenges at home but said people looked to government to concentrate on issues like the economy, as well as international responsibilities, like those in Afghanistan.

"I am getting on with the job and that's what people expect us to do," he said.

President Karzai joked: "Cabinet ministers plotting is nothing new - we have it in Afghanistan too."

'On their side'

Mr Brown said an economic downturn had affected Britain and other countries across the world and he could understand people wanting to know what the government was doing about improving their standard of living.

"That's what we have been working on over the summer and that's what we intend to do," he said.

"I believe people will see a government that is not only on their side, but very active on their behalf."

Gordon Brown arrives in Helmand
Mr Brown made a surprise visit to troops in Helmand, en route to China

Earlier Mr Brown also said he and Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who has been touted as a possible leadership challenger after writing an article about Labour's future without mentioning the PM, had been "working pretty closely together on Georgia and issues related to Afghanistan".

He went on: "The article he wrote in The Guardian was an article that any member of the cabinet could have written or I could have written. These are debates that all members of the cabinet have got to be involved in."

Mr Brown also ruled out an early Cabinet reshuffle in September, saying that he was "happy with the team".

Mr Brown, who is travelling to Beijing with his wife, Sarah, and two young sons, John, four, and Fraser, two, also said he would be raising the issue of human rights in talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.




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