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Brown urges Britons over Pakistan

Gordon Brown has insisted there is no "giving fatigue" among British people as he appealed for donations to help victims of the Pakistan floods disaster.

The former prime minister, in one of his first interviews since leaving Downing Street, said it was vital to send more cash to the crisis-hit country where some 1,500 people have been killed in the floods over the last two weeks.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari returned home to a storm of criticism after visiting Europe as his country was gripped by the floods, which are the worst in the country's history.

Donations by British people have topped £7 million but have come in at a slower rate than appeals for previous disasters.

Mr Brown told GMTV: "I think there's not a compassion or giving fatigue. I think there's an outpouring of compassion in this country. I think we are seeing the number of people wanting to do something rising."

Speaking at a Royal Mail distribution centre in London, he said he hoped the Government would match any donations made by the British people.

Mr Brown, who said he was adapting to life outside Number 10 and enjoying spending more time with his family, added: "When you see on television a young infant girl struggling for life, probably not being able to make it as a result of the floods, you want to do something. I think every single person in this country will have that compassion."

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) later said the appeal total had risen to £9.5 million.

Brendan Gormley, DEC chief executive, said: "The response from the British public has been overwhelming, particularly given the economic climate at the moment."

But he added: "We still need people to keep giving because the flood waters are still spreading fast and continuing to affect millions of people."


From Belfast Telegraph