Brown bid for business vote

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Gordon Brown declared that the British economy would weather turbulence in the global markets as he insisted that economic stability would remain the watchword of his government.

In a speech that coincided with the shadow Chancellor's address to the Tory Party conference, he hailed his decision to grant independence to the Bank of England and stress the "resilience" of banking regulation in the wake of the Northern Rock crisis.

He said: "I believe that we are sufficiently flexible to adjust when events threaten our growth. And we will certainly continue to take all measures that are necessary to ensure that we are in future even more flexible to deal with events as they arise." He also signalled that a deal to fund the Crossrail project could be sealed within days.