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Brown brushes off failed coup

world Updated: Jan 11, 2010 01:22 IST
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Brushing off rebel MPs bid to topple him as "silliness", British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday exuded confidence that he would lead Labour Party in the June general elections and serve a full term if voted to power.

Two former cabinet ministers called for a secret ballot of Labour parliamentarians to decide if Brown should lead the party into an election due within the next five months.

The call failed to win any high-level support but the length of time it took some colleagues to come to Brown's aid raised renewed questions about his authority.

Brown said nothing would force him to quit. He insisted that the attempts to drive him out had made him stronger and more determined. "It is about determination. It summarises my view," he told the News of the World, a tabloid.

The prime minister said he was fired up to fight off the coup by reading the poem by William Ernest Henley. The 16-line poem sums up his troubles with the phrases "My head is bloody, but unbowed" and "out of the night that covers me." But it concludes with the defiant words "I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul."

He said he was also affected by the film "Invictus", based on the life of then South African president Mandela following the collapse of apartheid.

"The Nelson Mandela film... is about determination. And that is what I am all about. Determination. We are dealing with big choices. There is a large number of issues at stake. We are heading for a big choice election. It will define what happens to our country in the next few years."

Brown revealed that he had been turning to former arch-rival Tony Blair for advice during recent turmoil.