Gordon Brown has set off on the campaign trail after confirming there will be a General Election on May 6 in a speech in Downing Street. He said he had visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace and wanted to ask the British people for a mandate to secure the economic recovery.
"Over the next few weeks I will go round the country - the length and breadth of our land - and I will take to the people a very straightforward and clear message - Britain is on the road to recovery and nothing we do should put that recovery at risk," he said, Sky News reported.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, the election race is expected to be the closest in nearly two decades, with Labour trailing the Tories in opinion polls against a background of union unrest and concerns about a possible double-dip recession.
Both parties will battle to win over voters based on the merits of their rival plans for the economy and reducing the nation's massive STG167 billion ($A277 billion) deficit.
Flanked by his cabinet ministers outside Downing Street, a relaxed looking Mr Brown urged voters not to risk Britain's recovery by switching governments.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year