James Gordon Brown was born on 20 February 1951 and is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010.
103 Facts About Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Tony Blair's government from 1997 to 2007, and was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 2015, first for Dunfermline East and later for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.
Gordon Brown spent his early career working as both a lecturer at a further education college and a television journalist.
Gordon Brown was elected to the House of Commons in 1983 as the MP for Dunfermline East, later becoming the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath in 2005.
Gordon Brown joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1989 as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade, and was later promoted to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1992.
Gordon Brown presided over the longest period of sustained economic growth in British history.
Gordon Brown outlined five economic tests, which resisted the UK adopting the euro currency.
Gordon Brown's government introduced rescue packages in 2008 and 2009 to help keep the banks afloat during the global financial crisis, and as a result the national debt increased dramatically.
In 2008, Gordon Brown's government passed the world's first Climate Change Act, and introduced the Equality Act 2010.
Gordon Brown remained prime minister while the Liberal Democrats entered separate negotiations with Labour and the Conservatives with a view to forming a coalition government.
Gordon Brown played a prominent role in the campaign to maintain the union between Scotland and the United Kingdom during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and in 2022 unveiled a Labour Party blueprint with incumbent Labour leader Keir Starmer for the future, proposing the biggest ever transfer of political power out of Westminster and into the towns, cities, and nations of the UK.
Since stepping down as an MP, Gordon Brown has served as the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and the WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing.
Gordon Brown's premiership has generally been viewed as average in historical rankings and public opinion of British prime ministers.
James Gordon Brown was born at the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
Gordon Brown's father was John Ebenezer Brown, a minister of the Church of Scotland and a strong influence on Brown.
Gordon Brown's mother was Jessie Elizabeth "Bunty" Brown ; she was the daughter of John Souter, a timber merchant.
Gordon Brown was brought up there with his elder brother John and younger brother Andrew in a manse; he is therefore often referred to as a "son of the manse", an idiomatic Scottish phrase, similar to the American phrase "preacher's kid".
Gordon Brown was educated first at Kirkcaldy West Primary School where he was selected for an experimental fast stream education programme, which took him two years early to Kirkcaldy High School for an academic hothouse education taught in separate classes.
Gordon Brown was accepted by the University of Edinburgh to study history at the same early age of 16.
Gordon Brown underwent experimental surgery at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and his right eye was saved by a young eye surgeon, Hector Chawla.
Gordon Brown graduated from Edinburgh with an undergraduate MA degree with First-Class Honours in history in 1972.
Gordon Brown was bright, too, though not like him, but they seemed made for each other.
In 1972, while still a student, Gordon Brown was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh, the convener of the University Court.
Gordon Brown served as Rector until 1975, and edited the document The Red Paper on Scotland.
From 1976 to 1980 Gordon Brown was employed as a lecturer in politics at Glasgow College of Technology.
Gordon Brown worked as a tutor for the Open University.
Gordon Brown was elected to Parliament as a Labour MP at his second attempt, for Dunfermline East in the 1983 general election.
Gordon Brown's first Westminster office mate was a newly elected MP from the Sedgefield constituency, Tony Blair.
Gordon Brown became an opposition spokesman on Trade and Industry in 1985.
Gordon Brown was Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1987 to 1989 and then Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, before becoming Shadow Chancellor in 1992 after Labour's fourth consecutive defeat in the general election that year.
Gordon Brown did not contest the leadership after Tony Blair became the favourite to win the 1994 leadership election, deciding to make way for Blair to avoid splitting the pro-modernising vote in the leadership ballot.
Whether this is true or not, the relationship between Blair and Gordon Brown was central to the fortunes of New Labour, and they mostly remained united in public, despite reported serious private rifts.
Gordon Brown would remain in this role for 10 years and two months, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history.
On taking office as chancellor, Gordon Brown gave the Bank of England operational independence in monetary policy, and thus responsibility for setting interest rates through the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee.
Gordon Brown implemented the Windfall Tax in 1997 on the privatised utilities.
Gordon Brown's 2000 Spending Review outlined a major expansion of government spending, particularly on health and education.
In October 1997, Gordon Brown announced that the Treasury would set five economic tests to determine whether the economic case had been made for the United Kingdom to adopt the European single currency.
In 2000, Gordon Brown was accused of starting a political row about higher education when he accused the University of Oxford of elitism in its admissions procedures, describing its decision not to offer a place to state school pupil Laura Spence as "absolutely outrageous".
On 20 April 2006, in a speech to the United Nations Ambassadors, Gordon Brown outlined a "Green" view of global development.
Gordon Brown was the clear favourite to succeed Blair; he was the only candidate spoken of seriously in Westminster.
Appearances and news coverage leading up to the handover were interpreted as preparing the ground for Gordon Brown to become Prime Minister, in part by creating the impression of a statesman with a vision for leadership and global change.
On 11 May 2007, after months of speculation, Gordon Brown formally announced his bid for the Labour leadership and replaced Blair as Leader of the Labour Party on 24 June 2007 and as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 27 June 2007.
Gordon Brown rescinded some of the policies which had been introduced or were planned by Blair's administration.
Gordon Brown remained committed to close ties with the United States and to the war in Iraq, although he established an inquiry into the reasons for Britain's participation in the conflict.
Gordon Brown proposed a "government of all the talents" which would involve co-opting leading personalities from industry and professional occupations into government positions.
Gordon Brown appointed Jacqui Smith as the UK's first female home secretary, while Gordon Brown's former position as chancellor of the exchequer was taken over by Alistair Darling.
Gordon Brown proposed moving some traditional prime ministerial powers conferred by royal prerogative to the realm of Parliament, such as the power to declare war and approve appointments to senior positions.
Gordon Brown wanted Parliament to gain the right to ratify treaties and have more oversight into the intelligence services.
Gordon Brown proposed moving some powers from Parliament to citizens, including the right to form "citizens' juries", easily petition Parliament for new laws, and rally outside Westminster.
Gordon Brown asserted that the attorney general should not have the right to decide whether to prosecute in individual cases, such as in the loans for peerages scandal.
Gordon Brown has since claimed that Labour would have won he 2007 election but he did not believe an early election was in the national interest.
Gordon Brown was mentioned by the press in the expenses crisis for claiming for the payment of his cleaner; however, no wrongdoing was found and the Commons Authority did not pursue Gordon Brown over the claim.
Gordon Brown stated in a speech when announcing his bid that he wants a "better constitution" that is "clear about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in Britain today".
Gordon Brown planned to set up an all-party convention to look at new powers for Parliament and to look at rebalancing powers between Whitehall and local government.
Gordon Brown said he would give Parliament the final say on whether British troops were sent into action in future.
Gordon Brown said he wanted to release more land and ease access to ownership with shared equity schemes.
Gordon Brown said he wanted to have doctors' surgeries open at the weekends, and GPs on call in the evenings.
Gordon Brown stated in the manifesto that the National Health Service was his top priority.
On 5 June 2007, just three weeks before he was due to take the post of Prime Minister, Gordon Brown made a speech promising "British Jobs for British workers".
Gordon Brown had been committed to the Iraq War, but said in a speech in June 2007 that he would "learn the lessons" from the mistakes made in Iraq.
Gordon Brown said in a letter published on 17 March 2008 that the United Kingdom would hold an inquiry into the war.
Gordon Brown went to great lengths to empathise with those who lost family members in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Gordon Brown has often said "War is tragic", echoing Blair's quote, "War is horrible".
Nonetheless, in November 2007 Gordon Brown was accused by some senior military figures of not adhering to the Military Covenant, a convention within British politics ensuring adequate safeguards, rewards and compensation for military personnel who risk their lives in obedience to orders derived from the policy of the elected government.
Gordon Brown did not attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics on 8 August 2008 in Beijing; instead, he attended the closing ceremony on 24 August 2008.
Gordon Brown had been under intense pressure from human rights campaigners to send a message to China, concerning the 2008 Tibetan unrest.
Gordon Brown argued that the Treaty significantly differed from the Constitution, and as such did not require a referendum.
Gordon Brown responded with plans for a lengthy debate on the topic, and stated that he believed the document to be too complex to be decided by referendum.
Gordon Brown's premiership coincided with the global recession, during which Gordon Brown called for fiscal action in an attempt to stimulate aggregate demand.
In mid-2008, Gordon Brown's leadership was presented with a challenge as some MPs openly called for him to resign.
Several MPs argued that if Gordon Brown did not recover in the polls by early 2009, he should call for a leadership contest; however, certain prominent MPs, such as Jacqui Smith and Bill Rammell, suggested that Gordon Brown was the right person to lead Britain through its economic crisis.
Gordon Brown was supported in making clear her desire for a contest by Joan Ryan, Jim Dowd, Greg Pope, and a string of others who had previously held positions in government.
Miliband, responded to this by saying that he was confident Gordon Brown could lead Labour to victory in the next general election, and that his article was an attack against the fatalism in the party since the loss of Glasgow-East.
Gordon Brown later referred to the call for a secret ballot as a "form of silliness".
Gordon Brown was re-elected as MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath with 29,559 votes.
Gordon Brown announced on 10 May 2010 that he would stand down as Labour Leader, with a view to a successor being chosen before the next Labour Party Conference in September 2010.
Gordon Brown resigned as leader of the Labour Party with immediate effect.
On 13 May 2010, in his first public appearance since leaving 10 Downing Street, two days after resigning as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown confirmed he intended to stay on in Parliament, serving as a Labour backbencher, to serve the people of his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.
Gordon Brown continued to serve as the MP of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath until 2015.
Towards the end of May 2010, Gordon Brown began writing Beyond the Crash, completing it after 14 weeks.
Gordon Brown played a prominent role in the lead-up to, and the aftermath of, the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, campaigning for Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom.
On 1 December 2014, Gordon Brown announced that he would not be seeking re-election to parliament.
Gordon Brown stood down at the general election in May 2015.
On 22 April 2011 it was announced that Gordon Brown would be taking on an unpaid advisory role at the World Economic Forum.
Gordon Brown was appointed as the inaugural 'Distinguished Leader in Residence' by New York University and took part in discussions and lectures relating to the global financial crisis and globalisation.
In July 2012 Gordon Brown was named by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education.
Gordon Brown chaired the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.
In December 2015, Gordon Brown took his first large-scale role in the private sector since standing down as prime minister in 2010, becoming an advisor to PIMCO.
On 7 November 2017, Gordon Brown released his memoir My Life, Our Times.
In September 2020, Gordon Brown was a co-author of a letter to the journal Nature highlighting the importance of EU funding in the fight against COVID-19.
On 10 June 2021 Gordon Brown released the book Seven Ways to Change the World: How To Fix The Most Pressing Problems We Face.
At the age of 49, Gordon Brown married Sarah Macaulay in a private ceremony at his home in North Queensferry, Fife, on 3 August 2000.
In 2011, Gordon Brown stated he had wanted the details of his son's condition kept private and that the publication had left him "in tears".
Sarah Gordon Brown rarely made official appearances, whether with or without her husband.
Gordon Brown is patron of several charities and has written articles for national newspapers related to this.
Gordon Brown is the brother-in-law of environmental journalist Clare Rewcastle Gordon Brown; he wrote a piece for The Independent supporting Clare's current environmental efforts on behalf of Sarawak.
Gordon Brown is a strong supporter of the NHS, owing partly to both the experimental surgery that saved the sight in his right eye after his retina became detached, and the care he and Sarah Gordon Brown received when their premature firstborn baby died.
Gordon Brown's papers were prepared in capital letters and in extremely large type, resulting in his stack of papers at the dispatch box being noticeably bulky.
Gordon Brown is a supporter of Kirkcaldy-based football club Raith Rovers and has written articles about his relationship with the club.
Gordon Brown has, at least ostensibly, been keen to keep his religion a private matter.
The Deal, a 2003 television film, followed Tony Blair's rise to power, and his friendship and rivalry with Gordon Brown, played by David Morrissey.
In March 2009, Gordon Brown was named World Statesman of the Year by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an American organisation 'dedicated to promoting peace, human rights and understanding between religious faiths'.
Gordon Brown has, on six occasions, been honoured in the Scottish Politician of the Year awards organised by The Herald newspaper.