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October 12, 2009

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Brown's eye worry no reason for quitting

BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown's latest eye problems are not a reason for him to quit before a national election due by next June, both supporters and opponents said yesterday.
Brown's office said on Saturday that the prime minister - who is blind in one eye after a teenage rugby injury - would not undergo surgery despite suffering two tears to the retina in his other eye, where he already has some vision problems.
The news came two weeks after Brown was asked whether he was on medication to help cope with his job, which prompted Brown to talk about his well documented eyesight problems.
Liam Fox, defence spokesman for the opposition Conservatives and a former medical doctor, played down concerns about Brown's health.
"There are lots of reasons to think that Gordon Brown should not be prime minister ... but not picking on his eye sight," Fox told broadcaster Sky News. "To focus on this and to say that that would make him unfit to be prime minister is not the sort of politics we should indulge in."
There has been speculation that Brown could resign on health grounds before the next election, enabling a new Labour leader to attempt to eat into the hefty opinion poll deficit that the party suffers versus the opposition Conservatives.
But Home Secretary Alan Johnson - who has been tipped as a potential successor to Brown - said there was no chance the prime minister would resign.


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