Defiant Gordon Brown prepares to make Commons comeback

Gordon Brown is preparing to make his full parliamentary comeback on Monday as the storm over accusations made against him by Tony Blair continues to rage.

Gordon Brown will weather the storm over Blair's book Picture: Getty

The Scotsman has learned that Mr Brown intends to be in the Commons to vote against key elements in the coalition government's constitutional reforms.

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The former prime minister is said to be "undeterred" by an attack made on him in his memoirs - A Journey - by Mr Blair, who accused him of blackmail, pushing Mr Blair towards drink by being very difficult and losing the election by abandoning New Labour.

The return comes after the Labour whips office made it clear that there "should be no exceptions" on Monday and all Labour MPs should be present for the crucial votes on a referendum on changing the voting system and reviewing the number and size of constituencies.

The party still hopes to defeat the government, with the aid of Tory rebels, on reforms which are at the heart of the coalition agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

A defeat would be a humiliating blow for Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

However, sources close to Mr Brown made it clear that, after a break following his departure as leader, he is now ready to start playing a serious role in Parliament again.

Until now, he has made only one very brief return to the Commons since his departure from Number 10. A source close to Mr Brown said: "Gordon has spent a lot of time visiting people and groups in his constituency, as well as beginning his efforts on promoting international aid, particularly with disaster in Pakistan.

"He has built up his confidence again and he is ready to play a full role in Parliament again, so we will see an awful lot more of him in the future."

He added: "Obviously, he will pick and choose his subjects, but we should expect some serious interventions from Gordon."

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Following the allegations made against him, Mr Brown issued a statement on his future plans yesterday, but declined to address Mr Blair's complaints directly.

He said he would join the Global Campaign for Education's High Level Panel on Education for All and will work to secure economic justice in Africa by helping to increase internet access.

He will also join the board of the World Wide Web Foundation. The initiatives reflect the priorities for Mr Brown's global public policy work in the future, his spokesman said.

However, the front-runner to replace him as party leader, David Miliband, sent an e-mail to members appealing for Labour to put the Blair/Brown years behind them and start afresh, calling them "yesterday's men".

He appeared annoyed by speculation that Mr Blair was providing covert support for him by appealing to the party to return to New Labour.

He said: "I'm sick and tired of the caricature that this leadership election is a choice between rejecting or retaining New Labour. It does a disservice to all the candidates and to the thousands of members who've been participating."