Brown strikes deal with Blair to hit the road

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Gordon Brown will tour the country during the next general election and play no part in running Labour's campaign from London, it was announced yesterday.

Gordon Brown will tour the country during the next general election and play no part in running Labour's campaign from London, it was announced yesterday.

Labour sources insisted that the Chancellor's role had been agreed amicably with Tony Blair, who angered Mr Brown last month by appointing the Blairite Alan Milburn as the party's chief election strategist - a job carried out by Mr Brown in 1997 and 2001.

The Chancellor may attend London press conferences on economic issues but will spend most of the election "on the stump" and taking the party's message to all parts of Britain.

Some Blairites had raised the prospect that Mr Brown could chair the daily press conferences in an attempt to cool his anger at Mr Milburn's appointment.

But the idea was scotched by Mr Brown yesterday, who made clear that a deal that would keep him out of London had been struck.

Supporters of Mr Brown said that he had carried out a central role in the last two elections because Mr Blair had asked him to, but that he was happiest when campaigning on the ground.

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