Last year, UK chancellor Gordon Brown, attending a ‘Labour Friends of India’ meeting during the Labour Party’s annual conference in Manchester, told the Hindustan Times: “I am eagerly looking forward to going to India.”
On Wednesday, Brown will be Britain’s new prime minister. He is expected to strengthen ties with India and build on the work done by outgoing PM Tony Blair over the past decade.
Brown has often focused on the rise of India and China, and its implications for the British economy.
Addressing British industry last December, he had said: “Asia is already out-producing Europe… But in the next 10 years, the competitive challenge is going to be even more profound... China and India will soon capture almost half (of total production)...”
Brown was inspired after visiting India in January — impressed by what he learnt about Mahatma Gandhi, and impressed by the pace of change in the new India.
Lord Swraj Paul believes Brown “will be the greatest British prime minister”. He told HT that Brown believed a “partnership is always good and gainful for both parties. And working with a strong India will achieve more”. Paul is certain Brown will develop Britain’s closest-ever links with India.
Lord Meghnad Desai felt Brown was “on the same wavelength” as Blair. “Links with India will not be affected... in fact, will become stronger.”