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Brown fudges 'Chancellor Cable' question

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 12 April 2010

Exclusive: Gordon Brown admits there are similarities between Labour and the Lib Dems on constitutional reform, but refuses to say if he would work with Vince Cable.

Jon Snow interviews Gordon Brown

Interviewed by Jon Snow, Mr Brown conceded that "some of our proposals on constitutional reform are not dissimilar to the Liberals’."

But he stressed that he was working for a Labour government, and would not say whether he was prepared to lead an administration with the Lib Dems' Vince Cable as chancellor.

Earlier in the interview, the prime minister rejected the suggsetion that the UK’s present economic problems were the result of Labour’s regime of light-touch regulation in the City.

He told Channel 4 News: "I said you have light-touch regulation for companies that were known to perform well" – but heavy legislation for those who did not perform well.

He blamed "the entangled nature of the global financial system" for the country’s present problems.

Mr Brown refused to endorse Peter Mandelson's description of Barclays Capital boss Bob Diamond, who was reported last week to have taken £63m in salary, as the unacceptable face of banking. But he stated: "I agree that there are too many people who are trying to get back to the old system."

Questioned on immigration and his pledge of "British jobs for British workers", the Labour leader said his government was bringing down immigration levels and that people in Britain were now being skilled to fill jobs traditionally filled by migrant workers, such as chefs and care workers.

On Trident, which Labour and the Conservatives have pledged to replace but which the Liberal Democrats say they will scrap, the prime minister ruled out the possibility of an end to the deterrent in the course of the next government.

Asked by Jon Snow if he thought Britain’s nuclear deterrent would end by 2015, he replied, "No. But we are working towards that."

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