Gordon Brown est-il éligible ?

De toute évidence, Gordon Brown veut succéder à Tony Blair au poste de Premier ministre britannique. Il est pourtant moins évident qu'il soit prêt à faire le nécessaire pour conduire le parti travailliste à la victoire lors des prochaines élections législatives. En effet, il lui faut absolument renier l'héritage de Blair, ce qui, au minimum, signifie promettre de sortir la Grande-Bretagne de la guerre en Irak.

Brown convoite la fonction de Premier ministre depuis le 12 mai 1994, jour fatidique où John Smith, le leader du parti travailliste alors dans l'opposition, est mort d'une crise cardiaque. Deux semaines plus tard, le 31 mai, Blair et Brown se sont rencontrés dans un petit restaurant du nord de Londres et ont débattu sur la personnalité qui devrait reprendre la direction du parti. À la fin de leur discussion, ils ont conclu un double accord : Brown resterait à l'écart et soutiendrait Blair, qui s'engageait en retour à lui céder la place plus tard.

Le fait qu'ils ne se soient pas mis d'accord sur le moment ou les circonstances de la passation de pouvoir était aussi inévitable que décisif. Ils ne pouvaient évidemment pas prévoir que Blair allait remporter trois victoires électorales successives, en 1997, 2001 et 2005, fait sans précédent pour leur parti, et garder ainsi les travaillistes au pouvoir pendant une durée inégalée qui allait sans doute durer 13 ans.

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