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We must unite around mission to change the UK, says ex-PM Brown

11 May 2023 3 minute read
Former prime minister Gordon Brown. Picture by Andrew Milligan / PA

Former prime minister Gordon Brown will use a rally next month to call on people to “unite around a mission to change the UK”.

The former Labour leader will speak about the need for change in both Scotland the United Kingdom at the event in Edinburgh on June 1.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, will also speak at the event, as will Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and actress, comedian and writer Arabella Weir.

It comes in the wake of a report produced by Mr Brown for Labour on the future of the UK, which recommended abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with a new, democratic upper chamber.

The rally is being staged by Our Scottish Future, the think tank set up by the former prime minister to campaign for change for Scotland as part of the UK – with organisers hoping the event will highlight demands for political reform from different parts of the country.

Speaking ahead of the rally, Mr Brown said: “In our politics, people are looking for a hopeful message which shows how Scotland and the UK can work together.

“There are many things we are divided about as a country, whether it’s over culture, the constitution, or on the economy.

“But we can all unite around a mission to change the UK and tackle the great challenges of the 21st century – poverty, inequality, climate change, and sustained economic growth.”

Strengthened Union

Mr Drakeford argued that a new “strengthened” union between the different nations of the UK is needed.

The Welsh First Minister said: “The current union of the United Kingdom isn’t working for people in any part of this country we are proud to call home.

“We need a new, strengthened union, which guarantees that no-one will find themselves unable to eat or relying on a food bank, facing old age or illness at the margins of society.

“A union which offers strong devolution for all parts of the UK, a union where all four nations are treated as equals.”

Mr Burnham said communities in the north of England have lost out as a result of power being concentrated in the south, similar to the situation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Greater Manchester mayor complained about the “over-concentration of political and economic power in the south east of the UK”, as he called for further devolution.

He said: “Places in all parts of the UK should have the ability to build a better future from the bottom up and collaborate with neighbours.

“The creation of mayoral combined authorities in England is enabling places like Greater Manchester to begin to chart our own destiny.

“But whilst devolution needs to spread throughout England, it’s also important that powers are devolved out of Holyrood and into local areas.”


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Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
9 months ago

Yeah, its breakup. I could easily unite around that mission!

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
9 months ago

I’ve heard this drivel from Brown and his acolytes so many times I could write their scripts. The Brit Nats are desperate to reshuffle the deckchairs on the Titanic one more time. Sad, but at least it will herald the arrival of a new era of confident, independent nation-states which will replace the dysfunctional UK.

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
9 months ago

Unionism – the wrong vision for Scotland, the wrong vision for England which will veto everything, and certainly the wrong vision for Cymru.

Let England do their thing, but we will be free to do ours!

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
9 months ago
Reply to  Neil Anderson

“Unionist Windbag Conference”?

Gareth
Gareth
9 months ago

Interesting remark by AndyBurnham, that more needs to be done to devolve power from Holyrood, this is the same call the Tory’s are making, in giving more powers to councils and less to the devolved govs. And Marc Drakeford admitting the UK’s failures but still wants to remain within it,and the first thing that’s need to go is FPTP voting system, but no mention of it here. Nothing for Cymru here.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
9 months ago

I can’t Wales ever being considered as an equal by those in power in England. Even some of the population of England might resent Wales being given equal treatment to their own country which is 20 times bigger. Our only way to get equality is through independence.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
9 months ago

So after his appearance at Mountbatten – Windsor’s lavish medieval knees up last weekend Mark Drakeford will be assisting the british state’s propaganda stunt in Scotland. Drakeford really is a unionist stooge of the worst order.

Mawkernewek
9 months ago

Change the Union in such a way to have the absolute minimum of actual change?

Barrie John Suddery
Barrie John Suddery
9 months ago

Mark Drakeford needs to wake up.

The UK doesn’t work for anyone but #England because that’s that way it was designed. It works great for them, so why should they change it?

Independence is the only solution to this failed state.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
9 months ago

Worst still it only works for the South East of England. The people of the North of England need to wake up as well and ditch the tory South.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Just one look at that face and his mad eye partner comes into view and the bile rises, the only good new labour members are long dead, how convenient for Blair and tragic for the country that John Smith passed away…

An ‘abusive marriage’ councillor when what is needed is a crowd-funded top divorce lawyer…

russell
russell
9 months ago

Why does anyone think Gordon Brown’s opinion is worth hearing anymore?

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