Sector expects dazzling start to a Brown regime

Political analysts are predicting an "eye-catching announcement" for the third sector if, as is expected, Gordon Brown takes over as Prime Minister in the next few months.

After Tony Blair announced that he will stand down in 27 June, thoughts are turning to what a Brown premiership would mean for charities – and expectations are running high.

"Gordon Brown and the Treasury have been at the heart of much of the Government's third sector activity in recent years," said Jonathan Lomax, a public affairs specialist at the consultancy AS Biss.

"It was no coincidence that Ed Miliband, one of Brown's closest lieutenants, was chosen to become charities minister just as the Office of the Third Sector was being formed."

Lomax believes a Brown administration would offer favourable opportunities for campaigners. "It may be that some of the new ministers are more receptive to campaigns than the old ones. So be prepared for a fresh campaign push in late summer and on into the new parliamentary session in October," he said.

Nick Aldridge, director of strategy at Acevo, said: "We expect to see some eye-catching initiatives when Brown takes over. I'd be surprised if there was a lack of good news for the sector later this summer."

But he said a Brown administration could bring dilemmas. "I think we'll see more emphasis on national identity, community cohesion and volunteering," he said.

"The challenge will be to ensure those initiatives work in a sensitive way. There's been nervousness about the idea of compulsory volunteering, for example."

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