London, May 11 (ANI): British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in a dramatic move, has announced that he will step down as leader of the Labour Party in order to pave the way for talks with the Liberal Democrats to facilitate formation of the next government.
The announcement made by Brown is likely to derail an imminent deal between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, as the latter had reportedly made leadership change a condition for them to work with the Labour Party.
Brown seized on David Cameron's failure to secure a pact with Nick Clegg by opening formal talks to agree to a so-called coalition of losers, The Telegraph reports.
Brown in a surprise move offered to oversee talks between the two parties before stepping down by the time of the Labour conference in September, when a new leader would be chosen by party members.
In a statement, Brown said if it was in "national interest" for Labour and Liberal Democrats to form a coalition government that would enjoy a majority in a hung Parliament, he had "no desire to stay on longer than needed".
"'We have a parliamentary system, not a presidential system, in this country. As I said on Friday, with no party able to command a parliamentary majority arising from the General Election, my constitutional duty as Prime Minister is to ensure government continues while parties explore options for forming a new administration with majority support in the House of Commons."
"As we know, the Liberal Democrats felt they should first talk to the Conservative Party. Clegg has just informed me that, while he intends to continue his dialogue that he has begun with the Conservatives, he now wishes also to take forward formal discussions with the Labour Party," The Telegraph quoted Brown, as saying.
If the Labour Party accepts Brown's proposal that would mean he would remain at Downing Street for another five months.
The leadership campaign, which is likely to be contested by David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, his brother Ed, the Climate Change Secretary, and Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, and others, will only begin after any talks are concluded.
The paper reports that on Monday night senior Conservatives accused the Lib Dem leader of "treachery" after it emerged that Clegg had changed the basis of a deal with Cameron just minutes before Brown made his statement. (ANI)