Gordon Brown: 'It's a matter for the people'
Gordon Brown has conceded for the first time that it is "a matter for the people" to decide whether Labour might have to share power with another party after the election.
In an interview after his speech promising constitutional reform I asked him whether he would, if necessary, work with other parties to keep the Conservatives out.
The prime minister replied "It's a matter for the people; now the people will make their decision in this election."
Pressed again about whether he would rule out working with another party he replied with the line you might have expected the first time - "I'm fighting for a victory".
Gordon Brown's comments reveal that he is having to think about how he would behave in the event of an uncertain election result - as per my earlier post.
I also asked him why he claimed that business leaders who condemn the planned National Insurance rise have been deceived; why he'd raised the issue of class and whether he'd stand down as prime minister after the election as Tony Blair had done.
Here is the transcript of part of the interview:
Robinson: "A big change in politics would be for someone like you to say if necessary 'I would share power, I would do it with another Party', would you work with other parties, if necessary to keep the Conservatives out?"
Brown: "It's back to what I said, it's a matter for the people. Now the people will make their decision in this election, before they do so, I think it would be premature for parties to be talking about anything other than what we are doing, and I want to (interrupts)..."
Robinson: "Are you prepared in those circumstances to say I don't rule out working with others, working with other parties?"
Brown: "I'm fighting for a victory, I'm fighting for, I believe, for a manifesto that is the right manifesto for the country" (interrupts)
Robinson: "Is there more that connects you and the Liberal Democrats say than the Conservatives?"
Brown: "Of course, of course, of course the Liberal Democrats support many of the constitutional reforms we are bringing in, and of course I want to see these constitutional reforms and I'm sorry that the Conservatives want to keep hereditary peers in the House of Lords. I'm also sorry they resisted any attempt to reform Parliament, and I think the notion that they have changed has been exposed every day by what they have failed to do. But in the end it's got to be the people that make the decision. We'll listen to what the people say, and I'm fighting for a manifesto that I believe is radical and bold. I personally take responsibility for saying that we've got to make these changes in the future so that we can ensure that politics is open and people see that public service is what it should be, and that's service to the public."
You can watch the interview here.