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Brown Should Quit as Party Leader to Facilitate Talks, Labour's Mann Says

Gordon Brown should resign as prime minister and leader of the U.K. Labour Party to allow negotiations with the Liberal Democrats over the formation of a government, a lawmaker from Brown’s party said.

John Mann, who was re-elected to represent the Bassetlaw district in northern England May 6, said in a statement today that members of Labour’s parliamentary party should meet to discuss Brown’s position. The call came after the BBC reported that Brown alienated Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg during a phone conversation exploring whether they could work together.

“Gordon Brown’s continuation as the party’s leader rules out the credibility of a Lib-Lab pact that has to prioritize the modernization and reform of the antiquated U.K. political systems,” Mann said. The 50-year-old lawmaker has represented Bassetlaw since 2001, winning more than a 50 percent share of the vote in each election.

Clegg yesterday said Conservative leader David Cameron should have the first crack at forming a government because he won the most seats and the most votes in the May 6 election.

BBC television cited an unnamed Liberal Democrat as saying Brown adopted a threatening and ranting tone in telephone talks with Clegg late yesterday.

The broadcaster said Brown’s tone makes it unlikely Britain’s third party would agree terms for a deal while Brown is in charge. The BBC did not disclose the person who gave it the information.

“Whatever happens in the next few days, Gordon Brown should not lead Labour into any future election and he should stand down before the next Labour Party conference,” Mann said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gonzalo Vina in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net;

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