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Britons can quiz Brown on YouTube

Gordon Brown launches a YouTube version of PM's questions in an attempt to connect with younger British voters and dispel opposition jibes that he is not in tune with the digital age.

world Updated: May 19, 2008 20:18 IST
Avril Ormsby

Gordon Brown launched a YouTube version of Prime Minister's questions on Monday in an attempt to connect with younger British voters and dispel opposition jibes that he is not in tune with the digital age.

Video questions can be submitted on any subject in an "Ask the PM" section on Downing Street's YouTube website.

Brown will answer the questions which receive the most votes at the end of June, but the plan is to run the initiative on a regular basis via the video sharing site.

"Politicians get a chance in prime minister's question time and other question times -- I think it's time the public had a chance," he says.

The move follows Brown's pledge to listen and learn after voters gave his Labour Party a drubbing in local elections earlier this month.

On Thursday, his leadership comes under further scrutiny when voters go to the polls in a by-election for the Crewe and Nantwich constituency, with polls suggesting Labour could lose the seat.

During his YouTube clip, Brown invites questions on subjects such as globalisation, climate change, the health service, jobs and housing.

"I am here to answer your questions," he says.

Conservative leader David Cameron, who has appeared on live Webcam broadcasts from his breakfast table, has criticised Brown in the past for being an "analogue politician in a digital age".

Unfortunately for Brown, the first question posted was "Why is it on every single video and on your main page that you don't allow comments?"

Brown will also speak at Google's London conference later where he will address executives on the role of technology in cutting crime and improving access to education and healthcare.

You can put your questions to Brown at: www.youtube.com/downingst