Brown Vows to Lead New Era
Blair successor as Labour chief pledges to 'learn lessons' of Iraq
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2007 5:22 AM CDT
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown gives his final address as Chancellor, during his traditional Mansion House address, to an invited audience of bankers and merchants, at Mansion House...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Vowing to "heed and lead the call of change," Gordon Brown yesterday took the reins of Britain's ruling Labour Party before stepping into his new role as prime minister Wednesday. Brown is expected to loosen the close ties to Bush foreign policy that marked the Blair era and grew increasingly unpopular with the British public.

He acknowledged Iraq had been "a divisive issue for our party and our country" and pledged to "learn lessons that need to be learned." He called on the Labour Party to "have a soul," and vowed to address job insecurity, poverty, affordable housing and health care.