GORDON Brown critic Barry Sheerman was last night won over by the Prime Minister’s rip-roaring Labour conference speech.
But the Huddersfield MP also warned that Brown has to deliver the new policies he outlined in Brighton if Labour is to win the next election.
Mr Sheerman, who has been one of the fiercest critics of the Labour leadership in recent weeks, admitted he was impressed by Mr Brown’s “muscular” speech.
He said: “It was a fighting speech about policies, morals and values and exactly what we needed.
“It was a real, muscular speech and what we now have to do is wait and see how it can be translated to the people outside in the coming weeks and months.
“I sat in a hall full of Labour supporters and it was well received but the test is can it be delivered outside that hall?
“I’m a passionate supporter of the Labour party and I welcome and support the policies and plans outlined by Gordon Brown.
“He came out with a lot of promises and a lot of ideas that I welcomed, particularly about education and anti-social behaviour.
“Gordon is not a great orator but this was a speech of passion and of strength”.
Mr Brown urged Labour to “change the world again” in what was billed as his make-or-break speech to the party's annual conference.
He said voters at the election, due to be held by next June, would have the “biggest choice for a generation”.
New policies included a referendum on electoral reform, power to recall MPs, more free childcare for poor families and state homes for single mothers.
The prime minister also vowed a fresh crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
He promised a referendum on electoral reform if Labour wins the general election.
Voters will be asked if they want to scrap the First Past the Post system for Westminster elections in favour of the Alternative Vote system – where voters give a second preference which are used in a second round run-off between the top two candidates if none got 50% first time round.
Mr Brown said: “I say to the British people the election to come will not be about my future – it’s about your future. Your job. Your home. Your children’s school. Your hospital. Your community. Your country.”
He rallied Labour activists with a call “to fight, not bow out, not walk away, not give in, not give up but fight – fight to win for Britain.”
Reeling off a long list of Labour’s achievements, Mr Brown said: “That is the Britain we have been building together.”
But he made clear his belief that Labour’s appeal to voters at the election cannot only be based only on its record in power, but must focus on its plans for the future.