The BBC’s new series of documentaries, following the rise and fall of New Labor, will end this evening (November 1st) at 9pm on BBC Two.
In the fifth and final episode of Blair & Brown: The New Labor Revolution, the series explores the canine days of Tony Blair’s premier as his successor Gordon Brown prepares to take power.
But Brown’s tenure as prime minister was fraught with difficulties as the global financial crisis rocked the world economy and sparked dramatic government intervention to shore up the banking system.
READ MORE: Outgoing city council says Labor leaders care more about fighting the left than saving the planet.
So who is Gordon Brown – and what has he been doing since he left office?
Gordon Brown’s Political Career:
Gordon Brown is a politician and public figure who was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007 and Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010.
Brown was born in 1951 and grew up in the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife, which he represented as an MP from 1983 to 2015. His father was a pastor in the Church of Scotland.
He studied history at the University of Edinburgh, which accepted him as a student at the age of 16. After graduating with a First Class Honors Degree in 1972, he worked as a tutor at the Open University and later as a journalist for Scottish television.
Although Brown was originally on the left wing of the Labor Party, he became a senior co-architect on the New Labor Project, which pushed the party heavily to the right.
As Chancellor, Brown effectively accepted – in its broad outline – the market economy framework first introduced by Margaret Thatcher while running poverty reduction programs to channel extra income to the poorest and stimulate public sector investment.
Although they served as Tony Blair’s Chancellor for a decade, the relationship between the two men deteriorated over time, with rumors of arguments circulating between them over the proposed transfer of power from Blair to Brown.
Brown succeeded Blair as Prime Minister and Labor leader in June 2007 and initially enjoyed a surge in opinion polls amid speculation about a possible early general election in the fall.
But Brown did not call this early elections and soon the financial markets were rocked by the banking crisis. Brown has been recognized on the international stage for his role in coordinating the global response, including nationalizing some troubled banks.
The crisis has hurt him domestically, however, and Brown eventually led his party to a major defeat in the 2010 general election.
What is Gordon Brown doing now?
Since leaving office, Gordon Brown has taken on a variety of roles, authored his memoirs – My Life, Our Times – and spoken out publicly on major political issues.
In 2011 he was named Unpaid Advisor to the World Economic Forum, and the following year he became the United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education.
Gordon Brown also serves as the Global Health Funding Ambassador for the World Health Organization.
Brown was among those linked to the post of Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund in 2011, but the job eventually went to Christine Lagarde.
Where does Gordon Brown live now?
Gordon Brown lives in Fife, Scotland with his wife, Sara Brown, chairman of a global children’s charity, and their two teenagers.
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