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Blair and Brown: a brief history

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 08 September 2006

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have been tied politically since the 1983 election.


Tony Blair and Gordon Brown both elected to parliament.

Tony Blair becomes shadow home secretary. Gordon Brown becomes shadow chancellor of the exchequer.

Following death of Labour leader John Smith, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair allegedly strike a deal at Islington's Granita restaurant. Brown agrees to stand down as Labour leadership contender in return for Blair agreeing to give Brown complete control of economic policy.

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Under the terms of the deal, Tony Blair is also said to have promised that if he became prime minister he would stay in office for an agreed period (which some say was eight years) before resigning and handing over to Gordon Brown.

Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair's director of communications, reportedly describes Brown as "psychologically flawed".

Brown's speech to the Labour Party conference is seen as a challenge to Blair's authority in its appeal to grassroots Labour support.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott tells The Times the Blair-Brown had improved after a "pretty serious breakdown" early on in the 1997 Labour government.

Blair announces he will not lead Labour into a fourth general election but will serve out a full third term.

Blair and Brown campaign together in the run-up to the general election, seeking to bury their differences - this despite the fact that the chancellor had not initially been involved in the planning for Labour's election campaign.

Brown listed in Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Blair is not included in list.

Gordon Brown leads his party's campaign in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, which Labour loses. Doubts are cast on his ability to win elections without Tony Blair.

Cabinet reshuffle sees Geoff Hoon and Jack Straw demoted, allegedly for being too close to Brown.

August 2006
Blair announces that he will not use the Labour Party conference in September to give a date and time for his departure from office.

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