Is this the real Gordon Brown?

The Prime Minister is surprisingly fluid and even funny

Here is Gordon Brown speaking in Oxford on Tuesday at the annual, invitation-only TED conference in Oxford. Is this the real Gordon Brown?

Downing Street aides are rightly pleased with their boss's performance - one emailed me this morning to say "it's an accurate capturing of GB the man and what makes him tick"

Brown, as you can see in the video, is speaking without notes for 17 minutes, and with real passion and energy. The public - rather than a gathering of techies and geeks in Oxford - will have to see far more of this rather appealing side of "GB" in the run-up to next May if he is going to have any chance of clinging onto power.

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.