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The Brown revolution

It is July 1994. Gordon Brown has just been elected leader of the Labour party. Tony Blair becomes shadow foreign secretary, with a mission to reform Britain's relationship with Europe. What happens next?

By Steve Richards   October 2006

The scene was highly charged and yet somehow without tension. In July 1994, Labour MPs, party workers and journalists crammed into a sweaty hall in Westminster to hear the result of the Labour leadership contest. Although the result was beyond doubt, the excitement was real. At 11am on one of the hottest days of the year, Gordon Brown was declared the new leader of the Labour party. In a soaring victory speech, the youthful leader hailed a new beginning under a new Labour party.

Only Brown’s friend, Tony Blair, had posed a fleeting threat as a possible alternative leader. In…

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