'I'll have nothing to do with celebrity culture,' says Brown

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Gordon Brown yesterday distanced himself from Tony Blair's courting of rich showbiz stars and said yesterday he would have nothing to do with the "celebrity culture" that "tells people what they want to hear".

Mr Brown insisted that "character and personality" was walking into a room and sticking to your "beliefs and values".

He said a key issue in future would be "can the executive be persuaded to give up power both to Parliament and to the people?" - a move that would maintain representative democracy.

In a question and answer session hosted by the Fabian Society, a left-of-centre think tank, the Chancellor said he wanted the Government to be a "servant state" and reconnect with the public.

His remarks will also be interpreted at Westminster as a thinly veiled attack on the Tory leader, David Cameron.

Yesterday, Mr Brown criticised the Conservatives for playing "fast and loose" with the union between England and Scotland formed in 1707.

Mr Brown criticised those who threaten the union, saying that a "group of nationalists and what used to be the old Unionist Party are prepared to play fast and loose" with it.

"English votes for English laws, for example, is a recipe for the executive and the Government drawing its authority from two different kinds of parliament - that would push the union apart," he warned.

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