Brown pledges to maintain financial stability

Gordon Brown today reaffirmed his determination to "take whatever action is necessary" to maintain the stability of the financial system in the face of the latest market turmoil.

The Prime Minister updated ministers on the latest situation at this morning's meeting of the Cabinet.

Mr Brown's spokesman said: "He reiterated that the Government is ready to take whatever action is necessary to get the country through this challenging period for the global economy."

The Prime Minister's spokesman refused to be drawn on reports that the Government was considering a plan to recapitalise the banks by taking shares in them, effectively part-nationalising them.

"We are, of course, looking at every aspect, including with other countries and the financial sector itself."

It would be, he said, 'irresponsible for the Government to speculate on the specifics of any future responses'.

"As and when the Treasury are in a position to say more they will say more, but we are not going to speculate prematurely."