Brown sets longevity benchmark as chancellor

Link: Brown and the euro

Brown was appointed chancellor on 2 May 1997 following Labour’s landslide election victory, which brought Tony Blair to power.

He has delivered eight Budget speeches – garnering the nickname ‘the iron chancellor’ – where the focus has been on prudence and stability, following years of ‘boom and bust’ under Tory governments.

He has however been criticised for letting the national debt increase while keeping taxation at relatively high levels.

A Scotsman, Brown studied at Edinburgh University where he gained 1st Class honours in and then a doctorate, before becoming a lecturer and then a journalist, later entering politics.

Brown entered parliament as MP for Dunfermline East in 1983.

Among the key issues he has dealt with since taking over as chancellor have been the euro, where he has decided, for the time being at least, to keep the pound, basing his decision on his famous ‘five economic tests’ model.

In 1997 he decided to hand over interest rate decisions to the Bank of England.

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