Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution – 11 October 2021 – BBC Two

Episode 2 – Series 1 – A landslide victory puts the Labour party back into power after nearly two decades. Tony Blair, who had never previously held a cabinet position, is now prime minister. A steep and daunting learning curve lays ahead of him. As he grapples with the vast government machine, Gordon Brown hits the ground running. His first move as chancellor is to make the Bank of England independent – a seismic change that Brown announces in his first days in office. The message was clear: Gordon Brown was going to end years of Tory ‘boom and bust’ and transform Labour’s economic reputation.

By the autumn of 1997, Tony Blair had made significant inroads in Northern Ireland and was working towards an unprecedented peace agreement. He was in tune with the public’s outpouring of grief after the tragic death of Princess Diana. Just a few months into their first term, Prime Minister and Chancellor had introduced Britain to a new type of politics. They were in the process of transforming the country.

But as their popularity ratings soar, cracks start to appear from within the New Labour operation. The teams at No 10 and No.11 – fiercely loyal to their respective leaders – begin to turn on each other. When Brown’s press secretary Charlie Whelan is blamed for leaking a story about Blair’s long-time ally Peter Mandelson, both Whelan and Mandelson are forced to resign. It is a major blow to the slick New Labour brand. Blair and Brown have lost a lieutenant each, and political rivalries within the party start to turn personal. Press and public interest in the party’s relationship dynamic will haunt them for years to come.

About Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution

The story of two powerful personalities at the heart of a political phenomenon. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and their closest allies chart the rise and difficult legacy of New Labour.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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