Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Brown 'never the same' after baby daughter's death

Gordon Brown
Mr Brown said he remembered every moment of his daughter's life

Gordon Brown has said he will never be the same again after the death of his baby daughter, who was born prematurely eight years ago.

In a highly personal Evening Standard interview the prime minister said he often thought about "what could have been" if Jennifer Jane had not died.

"It changes your life forever, it makes you feel the value of time," he said.

He also praised his wife Sarah for "her beauty and her quiet dignified way of dealing with every challenge".

He said she was his "hero" - echoing her own introduction ahead of his speech at the Labour Party conference last year.

'Never the same again'

In the interview, in which he also discussed the row about a letter of condolence he sent to a bereaved mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan, Mr Brown said "I know about death.

"There is a finality about death and if someone loses someone that is close to them you are never the same again. You cannot be the same person as you were before, particularly if that someone is young or, in our case, a child.

"You are always thinking of what could have been. Every year you are thinking of that daughter who was about to go to school or about to write for the first time, about to read, go to their first film or party, be a teenager. It changes your life forever. It makes you feel the value of time."

His daughter was born prematurely in December 2001 and died ten days later - Mr Brown told the newspaper it took the couple a few days after her birth to realise "there was nothing that could be done".

He said he remembered every moment of her short life "probably more vividly than anything else".

The Browns set up a charity - the Jennifer Brown Research Fund - after her death to investigate pregnancy problems and caring for premature babies.

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