The Corner

Gordon Brown Must Not Cling on to Power

With about 90 percent of votes counted in the U.K. general election, the Conservative Party has emerged as the biggest party, with over 300 seats projected, but short of an overall majority. The ruling Labour Party has suffered its biggest defeat in decades, and the Liberals have failed to benefit from “Cleggmania.” However, the early indications are that Gordon Brown is still determined to cling to power in a hung parliament, and will try to form a coalition government with the Liberals. This would be disastrous for Britain, and would be an insult to parliamentary democracy.

If Brown stays on as prime minister, or hands over to a successor in the Labour Party, the consequences for Britain will be dire — a sharp fall in markets, a decline in prestige on the world stage, and political paralysis in the face of a mounting economic crisis. He would have no popular mandate to govern, and would face massive opposition from much of the public as well most of the British media. Such a government would be short-lived and destined to be a failure.

Britain needs strong leadership both at home and internationally, and the electorate has voted emphatically for change. To deny the will of the British people would be a grave mistake with hugely damaging consequences for the country.

 – Nile Gardiner is director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation.

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