Brown smooths relations with unions over dinner
Wednesday 10 September 2008
The Prime Minister tried to answer trade union criticism of Government policies when he gave a relaxed, 20-minute speech at a private dinner with the TUC.
Gordon Brown cracked jokes and attacked the Conservatives when he joined senior union leaders at a dinner in Brighton.
He was warmly received at the dinner but union officials said later they wanted to see evidence that he understood the scale of the difficulties Labour faced.
Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite said the "jury was out" on whether the Prime Minister could turn around the fortunes of the Government in the coming months.
"There is no doubt Gordon Brown is a decent person and I accept the economy is a world problem but the question is - what is the Government going to do about it.
"If he is going to do something he has to act by the time he addresses the Labour Party conference in two weeks."
Mr Woodley said Mr Brown appeared "friendly and relaxed" and delivered his speech without notes, speaking off the cuff.
More than a dozen members of the Cabinet joined Mr Brown at the dinner, including Schools Secretary Ed Balls, Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Chancellor Alistair Darling.
Mr Brown told the union officials that he will be announcing in the next few days an initiative aimed at cutting the fuel bills of families across the country believed to involve insulating homes to improve energy efficiency as well as creating new jobs.
He attacked the Conservative Party's policies announced in recent weeks which he said favoured high earners and would include cutting public spending.
The politicians and union leaders tucked into a three course meal including starters of Bayonne ham, plum tomato and buffalo mozzarella, a main course of chicken, tarragon, shallots and white wine cream, and a dessert of baked black cherry and almond flan followed by coffee and a chocolate truffle.
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as Kings Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...