Across the Pond

Brown Promises 'National Renewal'

Let the horse race begin. Prime Minister Gordon Brown took the first ceremonial step to calling a May 6 general election on Tuesday by going from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to ask that the Queen dissolve Parliament, one of the monarch’s few remaining prerogatives. With Brown’s struggling Labour party closing in on the opposition Tories—the Guardian newspaper says the gap is now just four points—the prime minister is preparing to defend his job with a bold manifesto that promises an extensive program of “national renewal.” Brown’s reforms include an overhaul of the police and a major constitutional change that would put every seat in the House of Lords up for election. "The people of this country have fought too hard to get Britain on the road to recovery to allow anybody to take us back on to the road to recession," Brown said.