Tributes paid to Brown at 'sad moment'

Senior Labour politicians led tributes to Gordon Brown and voiced pride in the party's achievements in 13 years in power.

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett said: "This is a sad moment and one in which to spare a thought for Sarah and the two young boys.

"It is now the moment for the Labour Party to reflect on what has happened - but, far more importantly, what the future holds.

"There can be few tasks in life as thankless as being Prime Minister. This is true in spades when dealing with a global recession in which everywhere else in the world is affected - but your own electorate have no-one else to blame but you.

"That is why everyone, including those who have been vitriolic about Gordon Brown, should have the decency to say 'Thank you' for his tremendous contribution to getting nations to work together over the last two years to combat what would have been a global depression.

"I am deeply proud of what we have achieved in government over the last 13 years.

"I am convinced that we can reconnect with voters and ensure that when the election as is called, as it surely will be within the next two years, we avoid letting people down and ensure that we have the hopes and aspirations of families across Britain firmly in our sights."

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said: "Like many people, I am naturally disappointed that the Conservatives will form the next Government.

"Whilst the Liberal Democrats are fully entitled to link up with the Tories, I am sorry that they rejected the opportunity for a progressive coalition government to fundamentally change British politics.

"We will be taking our role as the Opposition very seriously, and holding the Conservatives and Lib Dems to account if they fail to deliver what the country needs and working with them where there is common ground.

"I am proud of Labour's many achievements in government. We have transformed public services and public infrastructure and there are two million more jobs in Britain.

"We will be using every opportunity to try to prevent Conservative plans for savage and early cuts in public sector jobs and services."

Irish Premier Brian Cowen described Mr Brown as a very good friend to Ireland throughout his career in Government.

"He showed his commitment to peace in Northern Ireland and to positive British-Irish relations in his extraordinary personal contribution to the talks that led to the Hillsborough agreement earlier this year," the Taoiseach said.

"He has also provided strong and insightful international leadership in the global economic crisis and in the fight against poverty and disease around the world.

"I know that he has always tried, in all he has done, to work for the good of everyone in British society.

"I wish him well for the future and look forward to working with his successor."



Education Secretary Ed Balls - a close ally of Mr Brown since Labour's last period in opposition - told Sky News: "Obviously, it is a sad day for the Labour Party, but at the same time Gordon Brown can go out with pride in his great achievements in government over 13 years.



"It's the end of an era. It's the end of the Gordon Brown era."



Mr Balls said it was a "disappointment" for Labour that the Liberal Democrats had shown themselves willing to go along with Conservative plans to reduce state spending immediately, rather than maintain it until the recovery is firmly established.



"It is a real issue now," he said. "Will we see cuts in spending immediately?"

Lord Mandelson said of Mr Brown: "He has shown giant dignity and, like of all of us, he may not be faultless but he is certainly fearless."



It was "typical of Gordon to take all the responsibility on to his own shoulders" for Labour's electoral performance at the election, Lord Mandelson said.



"What everyone has to remember in the Labour Party is that we have had a very good, very strong, quite a long innings," he told BBC News.



"And when you have gone through three terms, you know people tend to think it's time for somebody else, it's somebody else's turn, and we were fighting against that.



"Just remember, not so many months ago people were saying that David Cameron was simply going to waltz into Downing Street, that it would be a Tory walkover.



"Well, we gave them quite a fight."

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

ICT Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Art & Design Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Assistant Management Accountant -S/West London - £30k - £35k

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: We are working with an exciting orga...

Deputy Education Manager

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager required, S...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering