The former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to make a speech this evening confirming that he will stand down at the next election.
Although Sky reported the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath’s intentions a week ago, and it has been rumoured for a while, he will formally announce his departure today.
It became clear that Brown was unlikely to stand as an MP again, following his refusal to run for the Scottish Labour leadership in spite of the crucial role he played in the last stages of the Scottish referendum campaign.
Brown, who served as Chancellor for 10 years under Tony Blair during a Labour government defined by the pair’s explosive relationship, took over as Prime Minister in 2007. After losing the general election in 2010, Brown played a significantly low-profile role in the Commons with the occasions when he did stand up to speak being notable for their rarity.
However, he thundered back into the limelight of public life during the final weeks of the Scottish independence referendum campaign, making some key speeches in Scotland in an attempt to save the Union. It was this highly praised intervention that brought about speculation that Brown would make a bid for the Scottish Labour leadership, but having ruled it out, it seems that he has decided to exit political life on a high.
As the Guardian points out, Brown’s departure is another in a long line of prominent politicians from the New Labour days exiting parliament. Others include David Blunkett, Jack Straw, Tessa Jowell, Alistair Darling and Hazel Blears.