Gordon Brown Talks Death of Child, Tony Blair

Death of daughter was 'most grief-stricken time' of British PM's life
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2010 12:54 PM CST
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In an unguarded interview, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown talks frankly about the death of his newborn daughter, his wife's strength, and the deal he made with Tony Blair over Labour Party leadership. “Nobody actually really told us for a week, it just gradually dawned on us that something was going wrong and she wasn't getting bigger,” he says of Jennifer, born 7 weeks early in 2001, in an interview obtained by the Guardian. “She was baptized and we were with her and I held her and she died,” Brown says of his first child.

The now-father of two says he “couldn’t listen to music” and “wasn’t much interested in anything” afterward. "But for a mother having borne a child for nine months, having had an emergency operation, producing milk for that child and then to see that child go...my admiration and respect and love for Sarah just grew and grew," he says of his wife. The interview also touches on Brown’s 1994 deal with Tony Blair for leadership of the Labour Party. There was “an understanding that at some point Tony would stand down and support me. And that's where we left it.”

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