Brown stirs fresh Cabinet tensions on manifesto

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown risked provoking fresh in-fighting in the Cabinet yesterday by asserting his authority over the content of Labour's next manifesto.

Gordon Brown risked provoking fresh in-fighting in the Cabinet yesterday by asserting his authority over the content of Labour's next manifesto.

Five weeks after Alan Milburn was put in charge of the campaign by Tony Blair, the Chancellor made clear he was determined to remain closely involved in drawing up policy. Tensions between the two men over the shape of the manifesto were a running sore at the Labour Party conference.

In a speech in Newcastle Mr Brown maintained he was not going to relinquish the levers of power as he repeatedly gave glimpses of the party's next policy platform.

He said that boosting regional prosperity, skills, science and job creation would be at the heart of the document.

"One theme of the coming general election manifesto will be the economic reforms we have to make region by region to become more competitive, productive and prosperous," he told business leaders.

"In our third term manifesto we will propose how we can do even more to break down the barriers to enterprise - and spread an enterprise culture.We will propose the most open competition policy in the world, the best incentives for small business creation, the continual removal of red tape, especially in run-down areas, and I want every school to encourage the value of enterprise."

The Chancellor's comments, made in Mr Milburn's home region, will be viewed as provocative by Mr Milburn's allies.

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