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Britain's New PM Stresses Service to People As He Takes Office


Britain's new prime minister Gordon Brown has pledged new policies as well as service to the British people after being asked by Queen Elizabeth to form a new government.

Speaking outside the prime minister's Downing Street residence, Mr. Brown said his government will have new priorities and will go beyond party interests to serve the aspirations of the whole country.

Before submitting his resignation to the Queen, outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair held his final question and answer session with the House of Commons. Mr. Blair told lawmakers he was sorry for the peril British troops faced in Iraq and Afghanistan, but made no apology for backing the United States in the war on terror.

In Washingon, U.S. officials say President Bush telephoned Mr. Brown to congratulate him. A National Security Council spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, says the two leaders reaffirmed the bond between their countries and pledged to continue strong cooperation.

The former prime minister had worked for peace in Northern Ireland, backed military action against Serbian authorities in Kosovo, and was widely credited for revitalizing Britain's economy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.