Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

PM says England manager 'would sympathise with me'

Fabio Capello and Gordon Brown
Both men certainly have high-profile, stressful jobs

Gordon Brown has likened his job as prime minister to that of being England football manager, saying Fabio Capello "would sympathise with me".

Asked by Shortlist magazine about handling "internal party issues", Mr Brown said: "You've got to make decisions that are best for the team."

He also said he would love to be a football manager himself, but admitted he could do better at communicating.

"I think I could present things better, I know that," the PM said.

Mr Brown also talked during the interview about his love of sport and said Capello was doing a good job as manager "despite all the intrigues and controversies".

You've got to be able to communicate and I could be better at that
Gordon Brown

Asked if he had any sympathy with Capello over the recent John Terry press coverage, the PM said only the manager can know what impact "this is having in the dressing room".

Pressed about whether the same was true of party discipline - that he knew best - Mr Brown said: "I think maybe Fabio Capello would sympathise with me.

"Bill Shankly, when he was manager of Liverpool said, 'I don't drop people, I just make changes.' There's something in that."

'Ruined his life'

The prime minister was also asked about his leisure time and the possibility of holding cabinet meetings in the pub.

"Yeah, I might get better results! They might relax a bit more," he replied.

The interview was published as more claims were made about Mr Brown by political journalist Andrew Rawnsley.

In excerpts from his book, printed in the Guardian on Thursday, he claims Mr Brown and Tony Blair had an angry meeting in 2006 on the eve of the latter's announcement that he was to step down as PM within the year.

Mr Blair is alleged to have told friends afterwards that the confrontation was "ghastly" and "terrible", adding: "He [Brown] kept shouting at me that I'd ruined his life."

Parts of [my job] are stressful, but compared to being prime minister, it's nothing
David Cameron

Downing Street and Mr Brown have already rejected previous Rawnsley claims about alleged bullying in Number 10.

Last week, Conservative leader David Cameron also spoke to Shortlist, revealing his love of Guinness and darts, and the fights he has with his daughter to prevent her listening to the "slightly unsuitable" singer Lily Allen.

While the prime minister pledged an undying allegiance to Raith Rovers, Mr Cameron admitted to being only a "loose follower of Aston Villa", adding: "Tennis is my own sport."

Asked whether the job of opposition leader was stressful, Mr Cameron replied: "Parts of it are stressful, but compared to being prime minister, it's nothing."



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