Brown will be next prime minister, says Kinnock

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown will vanquish any challengers to the Labour leadership and succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister, the former party leader Neil Kinnock predicted yesterday.

Mr Kinnock said the Chancellor would not attempt to bring down Mr Blair. But he insisted that Mr Brown would emerge as victor of any race for No 10. He told ITV's Jonathan Dimbleby programme that Mr Brown was a "man of great strengths" and would prevail.

He said: "Nothing's going to happen until Tony decides it will happen. There's going to be no effort to dislodge Tony Blair. He will make up his own mind. I don't think the race will be tumultuous and I certainly don't think it will be long. And if he seeks to become leader of the Labour Party, and therefore Prime Minister, I'm certain that Gordon Brown will emerge as the victor."

At the Labour Party conference this year, Mr Blair said that he would step down after a third term as Prime Minister, renewing speculation about Mr Brown's place in the succession.