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Gordon Brown is new prime minister

By Gary Gibbon

Updated on 27 June 2007

Gary Gibbon reports on the power shift from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown.

This evening Gordon Brown is in Downing Street putting together his new Government. He "kissed hands" with the Queen this afternoon and arrived at Downing Street to promise the country that he would "try his upmost".

With a determined emphasis on change, he said he'd lead "a new government with new priorities".

Earlier in the day, MPs from all sides of the chamber gave Tony Blair an unprecedented two minute standing ovation at his last prime minister's Questions before he was driven to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to the Queen.

Brown's first day, Blair's last

He has lived in Downing Street for 10 years but wants you to see him as new and fresh.

Gordon Brown is not a political performer like his predecessor, he looked nervous as he walked with his wife Sarah up to 10 Downing Street. But the new prime minister is a formidable political strategist. Every word of his opening address to the people was an attempt to win them over, to convince them that if they wanted change after 10 years of Tony Blair - he could deliver it.

Gordon Brown's message was he could bring change, there was no need for a change of political party at the top.

Photographers meanwhile shouted at him to get in front of the Number 10 door.

In his first words as prime minister, Mr Brown emphasised his humility, his local state school background, all battle lines his team think will serve them well in the political fight with David Cameron's Conservatives. His message was that he was not a tribal politician - not a control freak - he said he'd like to appoint people from all over the political spectrum if they would serve.

He is sometimes seen as a dour or sour man - he said he was actually an optimist who thought the country could be reformed for the better.

In Downing Street, there was the traditional indignity for an outgoing prime minister of having your private belongings - here the Blair's' running machine - paraded before the world's media.

In the Commons - just before Tony Blair's last prime minister's questions - Gordon Brown's new Tory recruit - MP Quentin Davies - crossed the floor to take up his seat on Labour's benches.

As if that wasn't weird enough there then followed a prime minister's question time shorn of political point scoring but charged with emotion. Ian Paisley was a political pariah when Tony Blair came to office. Now Northern Ireland's first minister - in power with Sinn Fein - he wished Mr Blair good luck in his new job - as an envoy trying to bring peace to the Middle East.

A Labour MP said Tony Blair made Labour the natural party of government, then a very emotional Mr Blair - watched by his uttered the last words of his premiership.

Labour MPs rose and clapped - David Cameron gestured his party to get to their feet too - only the nationalist MPs stayed in their seats. Applause is banned in the Commons - standing ovations unheard of. Mr Blair hopes of leaving office in a dignified way had been realised. The brutal coup - often threatened - had been avoided. He has left early but as he's told friends - still standing.

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