Changing of the guard at Downing Street

London – Gordon Brown begins his first day as Britain’s prime minister determined to be a different type of leader to Tony Blair. But for all the dissimilarity in style and ideology between the two men, there will be a common thread running through Blair’s premiership and Brown’s tenure – the influence of religion. Blair, who is now considering becoming a Catholic, was the first British prime minister in more than a century to speak publicly about his religious faith and intimate that it influenced him in decision making. Brown, the son of a Church of Scotland minister, has already said that his parents had provided him with a «moral compass» which has guided him through life, but religion will play a different role in Brown’s government than it did in Blair’s. For Brown, religion was part of his strict moral upbringing, which he views as a personal matter. Blair, displaying more of a missionary zeal during his premiership, has been more willing to discuss his faith publicly.

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