News : Brown: 'Blair And I Did Have Leadership Deal'

The Prime Minister made the comments in an interview with Piers Morgan for ITV.
In the same interview, Mr Brown wept when he talked of the death of his daughter, Jennifer.

He chokes back tears as he speaks about her passing away, while his tearful wife Sarah is seen watching in the audience.
The interview was filmed last week and will be broadcast on Sunday evening.

Asked about claims of a deal before Labour came to power in 1997, the Prime Minister said Mr Blair had agreed to support his leadership bid when he eventually stood down, on the basis that he was given a clear run in 1994.


But he claimed that the "understanding" had been reached before their now-infamous dinner at Granita in Islington, north London.

The so-called Granita pact has been the subject of intense speculation ever since, but neither man has confirmed it publicly.

In an interview, Mr Brown said: "There was no deal struck at Granita's. That's been one of the great myths and people have written about it."

But he went on: "I'd already agreed with Tony before that dinner that he would stand for the leadership and I would stay on as the shadow chancellor, as the person in charge of economic policy.

"And there's an understanding that at some point Tony would stand down and he would support me if, when that was the case. And that's where we left it."
Tony Blair stepped down as Prime Minister in June 2007
Mr Brown made clear that he had felt, when then Labour leader John Smith died in 1994, that he was well-positioned to take over.

In the interview, Mr Brown appeared to suggest that he, rather than Mr Blair, should have assumed the leadership.
"I believed I could do the job, I believed that I'd got the experience and built up the experience to do it," he said.
Asked whether he had looked back to that time and thought it ought to have been him that took over in 1994, Mr Brown said: "I know but you can't look back.

"It's true, but I think you know yourself that if you look back and if you build your present just thinking about the past you can't deal with the future."

Mr Brown admitted that there had been "fights" between himself as Chancellor and Mr Blair as Prime Minister during their 10 years in Government together.
But he insisted that the relationship between the holders of those two jobs would be "incredibly difficult, even if you are friends".

"Because you're in a high-pressure world, you're having to make decisions every day, and sometimes you will disagree on them," he said.

"And I don't deny that, that there were fights about different issues but it's always the case.

"In fact it's better to be open and honest and say there were disagreements about certain things but at the same time we managed, I think in the national interest, to get things sorted out."

Source: skynews.com

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