Brown unruffled before Labour conference

Gordon Brown says he takes “the rough with the smooth” in a defiant message to those calling for a leadership election.

His comments, to be broadcast this evening in an interview with Sky News, come on the eve of a Labour party conference where his leadership is expected to be questioned by many.

The prime minister faces pressure after a difficult summer where several senior staff have left No 10 in an effort to escape its ‘bunker mentality’.

He faces an enormous deficit in the polls and is reportedly the most unpopular British prime minister since Neville Chamberlain, but insists he is “not going to be diverted by a few people making complaints”.

“That is the stuff of politics. I get on with the business of government,” he said.

“You go through periods. Sometimes you are popular, sometimes people resent the decisions you make and sometimes people are disappointed. You always get that. You take the rough with the smooth.”

It follows a letter sent by the prime minister to Labour MPs telling them that “we can come through this difficult time” and that he needs them to “restate the case for our party and values”.