Voluntary Sector central component in Brown's leadership campaign

Gordon Brown has thrown his weight behind charities and social enterprises in his campaign to win the leadership of the Labour party.

Speaking on Friday for the first time since Tony Blair announced his resignation as prime minister, Brown said voluntary organisations and social enterprises gave him cause to be optimistic about the future of Britain.

“In the life of our communities, churches and faith groups, responsible business, our voluntary sector and social enterprises, I see the driving power of social conscience at work – men and women who believe in something bigger than themselves,” he said.

“They show that there is no problem too big in Britain that cannot be sorted out by what’s best in Britain. And I see the job of government not to walk away but to encourage, to support and to bring people together.”

With Brown hotly tipped to take over as Prime Minister on 27 June, speculation has already begun about the future of third sector minister Ed Miliband, and who would take over from him if he changed roles. Miliband, who is a close associate of Brown’s, has been linked with several cabinet roles, including foreign secretary.

When contacted by Third Sector, Miliband refused to be drawn on whether he would be departing from the office of the third sector.

“I’m just getting on with the job in hand,” he said. He also declined to name a potential successor. He said there were several Labour MPs who are interested in the third sector. But he quickly added: “I wouldn’t want to give them the kiss of death by naming them.”

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