Brown insists Labour can recover

British prime minister Gordon Brown today insisted that Labour can recover from its mauling at the local elections, when it suffered its worst result in a generation.

Mr Brown said it was vital for the British government to show voters it understood their anxieties about rising prices and to convince them it had “an unequivocal and strong sense of direction” about how to get Britain through a tough economic period.

He acknowledged that voters were feeling worried about their standard of living and said: “I feel the hurt they feel.”

Mr Brown admitted he had made mistakes over the abolition of the 10p tax rate and allowing speculation about a snap election to run on too long last year.

But he insisted he did not expect a challenge to his leadership of the party after leading Labour to a 24% share of the vote in Thursday’s elections – its worst result for 40 years.

In the first of a pair of post-election TV interviews today, Mr Brown told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “Of course we can recover from this position and I will tell you how.

“First of all by sorting out the immediate problem with the economy and showing people we can come through, as we have in the past, very difficult economic times.

“Secondly by showing people we have a vision of the future that will carry the country – optimistically in my view – into its next phase.

“That is all about chances, opportunities, a fair deal for working families, helping people get onto the first rung of the housing ladder, helping people get opportunity in education – more universities and more colleges – the big building blocks for the future that we are putting in place.”

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