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LONDON — Some dramatic developments in Britain's search for a government. Gordon Brown has just announced he is standing down as Labour Party leader. Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems, who has had two days of talks with the Conservatives, has now formally opened talks with the Labour party as well.
Brown told reporters outside Downing Street: "I have no desire to stay in my position longer than is needed to ensure the path to economic growth is ensured and the process of political reform we have agreed moves forward quickly. The reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country. As leader of my party, I must accept that that is a judgment on me."
Indeed it is ... but where this leaves the process is anyone's guess. Up until Brown's statement, I would have put money on the Conservatives forming a minority government and the Lib Dems avoiding any real contact with Labour. Now that Brown has announced his departure that changes the game ... although not entirely.
Thank goodness the markets are focused on the European Union's massive deal to prop up the euro ... when the short sellers and currency speculators re-focus the pound may come under pressure which might force the pace.
But so far all three parties and their leaders have behaved impeccably.
Watch this space for updates.