After more than a decade spent waiting in the wings, only three days separate Gordon Brown from Britain’s top job. His sometimes acrimonious rivalry with Tony Blair has dominated British newspaper headlines in recent years and he inherits a country eager for change.
Brown has been talking almost non-stop about how he plans to relaunch a party divided by the Iraq war and damaged by allegations of sleaze. He has told the party and the public that he wants to run a more inclusive administration and listen to grassroots opinion.
To give Labour its fourth straight term, Brown will have to quickly make his mark, with a general election expected in 2009. Close aides hope his more serious manner will woo back voters who have grown disenchanted with what some critics describe as the “glitz and glamour” of Blair’s government. However, he faces a challenge in distancing himself from Blair while not appearing to backtrack on policies he has supported.