Anyone who takes any interest in politics will be aware that for years Tony Blair was accused of being a closet Tory. The fact that his father was a Conservative, he had a very privellaged upbringing, his point blank refusal to deny his admiration for Lady Thatcher and his savaging of Labours precious Clause IV upon becoming leader all added to the ‘Tory Blair’ tag.
However what may suprises readers to know is that Gordon Brown, a man seen as ‘more Labour’ than Blair, is in fact from Tory stock too. Gordon Brown’s godmother and relative has revealed that she is a committed Tory, just like virtually everyone else on Gordon Brown’s beloved mother’s side of the family. In fact they have been staunch Tories for generations.
Indeed, Brown’s late uncle, Gordon Souter, was chairman of the local Conservative association and provost (mayor) of the 1,600-population village for 10 years. He ran the family building and general goods business – John Souter Ltd – which was founded by his father in 1898 and employed up to 70 people, the biggest employer in the village. And with delicious irony, Gordon Brown was even named after him.
As Mrs Riddel, daughter of Gordon Souter and for many years a working director of the family firm, says: “My father was a staunch Tory – oh my goodness yes, a really staunch Tory. We were all brought up to be Tory and we still are – my husband’s family is also Tory. Jessie [Gordon Brown’s mother] was a Tory too.”
Therefore perhaps Gordon Browns political Tory traits are not all that suprising….