The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has earned a standing ovation at his Labour Party conference, amid increasing speculation about whether he can stay in the job, given his record low popularity figures.
He said he made no apologies about how he comes across to the public: “I did not come into politics to be a celebrity or thinking I would always be popular. Perhaps, that is just as well… if people say I am too serious, quite honestly there is a lot to be serious about,” he told Labour Party supporters.
Among several spending programmes he announced was free medication for cancer patients, and there was a pledge to reform the money markets. He also heavily criticised his opponents. “Everyone knows that I am all in favour of apprenticeships, but let me tell you, this is no time for a novice.
“I want to give the people of this country an unconditional assurance, no ifs, no buts, no small print. My unwavering focus is taking this country through the challenging economic circumstances we face and building the fair society of the future”.
Brown won prolonged applause, but it remains to be seen if he has managed to calm the recent storm of speculation about his leadership. Some junior members of his government were recently sacked for calling for a leadership contest.