British PM's departure 'important' in deal talks: Clegg
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision to stand down as Labour leader is an "important element" in negotiations on a possible power-sharing deal, Liberal Democrat chief Nick Clegg said Monday.
"It must have been a very difficult thing for him to say personally," Clegg said.
"But I think he's taken it in the national interest and I think his announcement could be an important element in the smooth transition towards a stable government that people deserve -- without prejudicing or predicting what the outcome of the talks will be between ourselves and the Labour Party."
Clegg's party has been holding talks with the Conservatives on breaking Britain's post-election deadlock but Brown said that Labour and the Lib Dems would also enter negotiations as he announced he was to quit.
Labour and the Liberals are seen as more natural bedfellows than the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.
However, negotiators from both the Conservatives and the Liberals insisted earlier that their talks had been positive, although Lib Dem lawmakers later asked their team to return to the table in search of "clarification" on issues including electoral reform.
© 2010 AFP