Minor tears found in Gordon Brown's retina

Monday, October 12, 2009

File photo of Gordon Brown.
Image: swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler.

The British government has said that eyesight tests reveal Prime Minister Gordon Brown has two minor tears in the retina of his right eye.

Prime Minister Brown went to the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England. A series of eyesight tests revealed that there were two small tears in his right retina, but no other deterioration in his eyesight.

Downing Street in Westminster has said that despite these results, Mr. Brown will not be undergoing any further operations. They commented: "This summer Mr Brown had his annual eye check-up which was fine. Later he had his retina checked. After examinations, surgeons found that the retina had two minor tears. However, as there has been no further deterioration, and no change in his eyesight, they decided against further operations. Yesterday [Friday] Mr. Brown visited Moorfields Hospital as part of regular checks on his eyes and this check was also fine. Mr. Brown wants to thank the doctors and staff of the NHS particularly Moorfields Hospital. Were there to be any change, he would of course make a further statement."

Gordon is already blind in his left eye after a rugby-related accident during his teenage years. The announce made earlier this week comes roughly two weeks after he made an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One as a guest on September 27, 2009. He was given some medical questions from Andrew Marr about his health, including if his eyes were OK, and if he took prescription painkillers, while on the air. As a result, the BBC received several hundred complaints from viewers.

Editor Barney Jones made an apology. In a statement he said: "We felt that with a general election looming and with former and current cabinet ministers warning of electoral defeat unless the party turned round its current position, a robust interview centred on the economy and the Prime Minister's leadership was appropriate.

"The former Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, suggested this month that health might be a reason for the Prime Minister to stand down and within the context of a long interview about policy it was reasonable also to ask Mr Brown about his health. The issue of his health and whether it affects his ability to perform the onerous job of leading the party and the country was pertinent, and has been raised with other Prime Ministers in the past."