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Bishop pays tribute to Gordon Brown

by Antony Bushfield

The former prime minister has announced he's to step down as an MP next May and confirmed he will not take up a place in the House of Lords.

He's promised to do everything he can to secure the election of a Labour government before he quits his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat.

The Labour MP, whose dad was a Church of Scotland minister, has focused on charity work and his role as UN special envoy for global education since his resignation as prime minister in 2010.

He said: ''We are not leaving Fife. It is London that I'm leaving and for the avoidance of any doubt, I'm not going back to Westminster, not to the House of Commons after the general election and not to the House of Lords.

''It is Fife where our home is and where we will be, where our children John and Fraser, who are here tonight, are happily at school and it is from Fife where I will do the new and extended work as the United Nations special envoy on global education.''

The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, told Premier he particularly remembered a speech Mr Brown gave at the Lambeth Conference in 2008.

"He came and addressed all the assembled bishops and he was a man with a passion really, a religious fervour almost, for the cause of the poor and the role of the churches in walking with the poor," he said.

The bishop said he was "enormously impressed and moved" by the speech.

"So I shall remember him for that encouragement as our political leader to churches around the world to put poverty at the centre of the Gospel," he added.

Listen to Bishop of Derby Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern:

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