Former PM Gordon Brown is guest speaker at church-backed lecture

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown will give the annual Harold Wilson Lecture next month - 'Purpose in Politics' at an event supported by the diocese at the University of Huddersfield.

As Labour Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010 Gordon Brown oversaw the devolution of powers in Northern Ireland, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and the world's first ever Climate Change Act.

He also oversaw changes such as the introduction of neighbourhood policing in every area, a legally-enforceable right to early cancer screening and treatment,.

Bishop of Huddersfield, Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs said the event, jointly organised by the Anglican Diocese of Leeds and the University, on Monday, November 12 promised to be fascinating and relevant:


"The annual Harold Wilson lecture at the University of Huddersfield is a great example of cooperation between the Church and the world in terms of public thinking and discussion about our shared future.


"Over the years we have enjoyed a distinguished range of speakers from across the political and religious spectrum, including Alan Johnson, Rowan Williams and Anne Widdecombe.


"What all of them have had in common has been the attempt to engage with some of the big issues of our day, at the intersection of serious political and religious thinking.


"It is a great honour that the former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Gordon Brown, has accepted the invitation to be our speaker this year, reflecting on the legacy of Harold Wilson and its relevance for today, just over 100 years since Lord Wilson’s birth.


"This comes at a time also when Mr Brown has been prominent in his comments about current trends in British politics and I am sure we will be in for a lively evening!"

Mr Brown's greatest challenge in office was the worldwide financial crisis and the following recession.

In April 2009, he hosted the G20 Summit in London where world leaders pledged to make an additional $1.1 trillion available to help the world economy through the crisis and restore credit, growth and jobs. They also pledged to improve financial supervision and regulation.

UK combat operations in Iraq, which had begun during his predecessor’s time in office, came to an end under Gordon Brown. British forces withdrew from the country at the end of April 2009. He regularly visited Iraq and Afghanistan and, in December 2009, he became the first Prime Minister for some considerable time to stay in a war zone when he stayed overnight in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Before he became Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was Britain’s longest-serving modern Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was appointed Chancellor in May 1997, through to June 2007 when he started as Prime Minister himself.

Labour's Harold Wilson was Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and then 1974 to 1976 and coined the phrase: " A week is a long time in politics."

The lecture on Monday November 12 begins at 6pm and the event begins at 5.30pm.

For more details go to: http://





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