Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gordon Brown leaves No. 10 Downing Street

After his 13 years as British Prime Minister ended on Tuesday 11 May 2010 after conceding election defeat, Mr Gordon Brown's voice cracked with emotion as he ended a brief statement with a simple: "Thank you and goodbye."

Then in a poignant moment, he and Sarah walked to the famous door of No10, Downing Street, the office of the British Prime Minister, to collect John, six, and Fraser, three - one of the rare occasions Mr Brown has exposed his children to the glare of publicity.

He kissed the boys on the head before being driven to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to the Queen - ending 13 years of Labour rule.

It was the final act of an often troubled and tempestuous premiership.

Aides, including his gatekeeper Sue Nye and chief adviser Justin Forsyth, had gathered in Downing Street to watch his departure.

Mr Brown revealed: "It is my intention to tender my resignation to the Queen. I shall advise her to invite the Leader of the Opposition to seek to form a government."

He offered a good luck message to Tory leader David Cameron, watching on TV in his Commons office.

He went on: "I have been privileged to learn much about the very best in human nature and a fair amount too about its frailties - including my own."

Despite looking exhausted, Mr Brown said he had "loved the job". The man who often came under attack over lack of equipment for British troops then praised their courage.

His voice wavering with emotion, he turned to his wife, standing a few feet behind him, and said: "I want to thank Sarah for her unwavering support as well as her love. I thank my sons John and Fraser for the love and joy they bring to our lives. As I leave the second most-important job I could ever hold, I cherish even more the first - as a husband and father."

Minutes later, the door to Number 11 opened and Chancellor Alistair Darling and his wife Maggie also left Downing Street. It emerged that Mr Brown's predecessor Tony Blair phoned just before he took the decision to throw in the towel.

But a spokesman would not comment on rumours that Mr Blair urged him to stand down.

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