James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007. Brown has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1983, currently for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.
Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007, after the resignation of Tony Blair and three days after becoming leader of the governing Labour Party. His tenure ended in May 2010, when he resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Brown was one of only three people to serve in the Cabinet continuously from Labour's victory in 1997 until its defeat in 2010, the others being Jack Straw and Alistair Darling.
Brown has a PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh and spent his early career working as a lecturer at a further education college and a television journalist. He has been a Member of Parliament since 1983; first for Dunfermline East and since 2005 for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. As Prime Minister, he also held the offices of First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service.
Brown's time as Chancellor was marked by major reform of Britain's monetary and fiscal policy architecture, transferring interest rate setting powers to the Bank of England, by a wide extension of the powers of the Treasury to cover much domestic policy and by transferring responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority. Controversial moves included the abolition of advance corporation tax (ACT) relief in his first budget, and the removal in his final budget of the 10% "starting rate" of personal income tax which he had introduced in 1999.
After initial rises in opinion polls following Brown's selection as leader, Labour performed poorly in local and European election results in 2009. A year later, Labour lost 91 seats in the House of Commons at the 2010 general election, the party's biggest loss of seats in a single general election since 1931, giving the Conservative Party a plurality and resulting in a hung parliament. On 10 May 2010, Brown announced he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party, and instructed the party to put into motion the processes to elect a new leader. On 11 May 2010, Brown officially resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by David Cameron, and on 25 September 2010, he was succeeded as Leader of the Labour Party by Ed Miliband.
Early life and career before Parliament
Gordon Brown was born at the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland. His father was John Ebenezer Brown, a minister of the Church of Scotland and a strong influence on Brown. He died in December 1998, aged 84. His mother Jessie Elizabeth Souter, known as Bunty, died on 19 September 2004, aged 86. She was the daughter of John Souter, a timber merchant. Brown was brought up with his elder brother John and younger brother Andrew Brown in a manse in Kirkcaldy — the largest town in Fife, Scotland across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh. In common with many other notable Scots, he is therefore often referred to as a "son of the manse".
Brown was educated first at Kirkcaldy West Primary School where he was selected for an experimental fast stream education programme, which took him two years early to Kirkcaldy High School for an academic hothouse education taught in separate classes. At age sixteen he wrote that he loathed and resented this "ludicrous" experiment on young lives.
He was accepted by the University of Edinburgh to study history at the same early age of sixteen. During an end-of-term rugby union match at his old school he received a kick to the head and suffered a retinal detachment. This left him blind in his left eye, despite treatment including several operations and weeks spent lying in a darkened room. Later at Edinburgh, while playing tennis, he noticed the same symptoms in his right eye. Brown underwent experimental surgery at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and his right eye was saved. Brown graduated from Edinburgh with First Class Honours MA in history in 1972, and stayed on to complete his PhD in history (which he gained ten years later in 1982), titled The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918–29. In 1972, while still a student, Brown was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh, the convener of the University Court. He served as Rector until 1975, and also edited the document The Red Paper on Scotland.
From 1976 to 1980 Brown was employed as a lecturer in politics at Glasgow College of Technology. In the 1979 general election, he stood for the Edinburgh South constituency, losing to the Conservative candidate, Michael Ancram. From 1980 he worked as a journalist at Scottish Television, later serving as current affairs editor until his election to parliament in 1983. He also worked as a tutor for the Open University.
From : www.wikipedia.org