Brown vows to 'play my part' for stable British government

7th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister Gordon Brown vowed to "play my part" in ensuring Britain has a stable post-election government, as Labour ministers talked up a possible deal with the Liberal Democrats Friday.

"My duty to the country coming out of this election is to play my part in Britain having a strong, stable and principled government," said Labour leader Brown, after being re-elected to his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat.

Such a government could "lead Britain into sustained economic recovery; and able to implement our commitments to far-reaching reform to our political system, upon which there is a growing consensus in our country," he added.

His comments came as exit polls suggested Britain was heading for its first hung parliament -- where no one party has an overall majority -- for the first time since 1974.

The polls released after Thursday's vote gave the main opposition Conservatives a lead on 305 seats in the House of Commons, but this would not be enough to let David Cameron's party form a government alone.

Labour were on 255 and the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg, were on 61.

After the polls were released, senior Cabinet ministers talked openly of a possible deal with the Lib Dems to keep the Conservatives out of office.

Peter Mandelson, Brown's de facto deputy, gave the clearest sign yet Labour was mulling a deal.

When asked about whether Labour could form an alliance with the centrist party to stay in power, Mandelson said on Sky News: "You don't have to sound quite so horrified. Obviously we would be prepared to consider that."

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, seen as one of Brown's closest allies, told Sky News that an alliance between the two parties was possible.

"Clearly, that's one possibility. Those discussions would have to take place between Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg," he said.

If Labour teamed up with the Liberal Democrats, they would still be short of the 326 clear majority but could broker additional support from fringe parties.

© 2010 AFP

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