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Ironduke
07 Oct 06,, 08:03
With Blair stepping down from the office of prime minister in May 2007, who do you are among the likeliest candidates to succeed him?

I will quit within a year - Blair

Tony Blair has confirmed that he will step down as prime minister within the next 12 months.

Mr Blair said the Labour conference in two weeks' time would be his last as Labour leader - but he did not name a precise date for his departure.

He also apologised for Labour's conduct in recent days, admitting it "has not been our finest hour, to be frank".

Allies have suggested Mr Blair will announce a timetable early in the New Year and hand over power in May.

Mr Blair and his supporters will be hoping his statement will end the civil war that has broken out in the past week among Labour MPs over his departure.

International Development Secretary Hilary Benn said he wished "people would understand what is required" and get on with the business of governing.

But some Labour MPs are already saying Mr Blair's statement will not be enough to quell dissent.

Manchester Blackley MP Graham Stringer said he did not think Mr Blair's statement "took us any further forward".

And he called on Mr Blair to "fire the starting pistol on a leadership election" at Labour's conference later this month.

Newcastle North MP Doug Henderson, a close ally of Gordon Brown, said: "It doesn't seem to me that the public knows any more about the PM's retirement plans.

"People keep saying to me that the Labour party must have a clear direction forward with clear priorities and a new leader before the May 2007 elections."

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said there was still a lot of "poison" emanating from Labour MPs - and allies of Mr Blair and Mr Brown were continuing to fight behind the scenes.

'No precise date'

In his brief statement, made during a visit to a London school, Mr Blair said: "I think what is important now is that we understand that it's the interests of the country that come first and we move on.

"I would have preferred to do this in my own way but it has been pretty obvious from what many of my Cabinet colleagues have said earlier in the week.

"The next party conference in a couple of weeks will be my last party conference as party leader, the next TUC conference next week will be my last TUC - probably to the relief of both of us.

"But I am not going to set a precise date now. I don't think that's right. I will do that at a future date and I'll do it in the interests of the country and depending on the circumstances of the time."

He also had a message for warring Labour MPs, saying: "It's the public that comes first and it's the country that matters, and we can't treat the public as irrelevant bystanders in a subject as important as who is their prime minister."

Speaking earlier, Chancellor Gordon Brown said it was for Mr Blair to decide when he quit.

"When I met the prime minister yesterday, I said to him - as I've said on many occasions and I repeat today - it is for him to make the decision," he told reporters during a visit to a Glasgow athletics track.

Mandelson reaction

Giving his reaction, EU trade commissioner and key Blair ally Peter Mandelson said: "I think that Labour has had its moment of madness this week and I hope it will now move on and that the plotting and the shenanigans will be put behind them once and for all.

"They've got to concentrate on the needs of the country, not themselves."

He said he always thought Mr Blair would step down after 10 years in office, as "it was as much as someone could do that job for".

Speaking earlier, Commons leader Jack Straw said he would expect Mr Blair to stay "to the halfway point of a normal four-year parliament", which would be May.

But Downing Street rejected suggestions a deal had been struck to hand over power on 4 May, three days after Mr Blair notches up 10 years in power and the day after the local elections.

Mr Blair has been under pressure to quit earlier than May in order to get a new leader in place before the elections in England, Scotland and Wales - which are expected to be disastrous for Labour.

Mr Brown - the man most likely to succeed Mr Blair - was also thought to be unhappy at the prospect of taking over at the end of a Parliamentary session.

The two men were reported to have to have had an acrimonious meeting over the issue on Wednesday morning.

It was followed by a day of open warfare between supporters of the chancellor and Mr Blair - and a string of government resignations - over when the prime minister should quit.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/5322094.stm

PubFather
07 Oct 06,, 18:06
Gordon Brown... lol... not really any question about it

BenRoethig
09 Oct 06,, 01:15
Gordon Brown... lol... not really any question about it

Good help you. Brown is an accountant, not a leader.

glyn
09 Oct 06,, 08:59
Gordon Brown... lol... not really any question about it

New Labour seem to want a coronation for Gordon Brown, not an open contest for the position. Yes, I know we used to be democratic, but that was before New Labour came to power in the 1997 elections. As to the other possible candidates, they are all mental lightweights. As for running a country - don't make me laugh - they couldn't run a bath between them. Britain really is in a parlous state, and I don't see any leader of stature and substance emerging in any of the other parties either. Come back Maggie - we need you more than ever!

PubFather
09 Oct 06,, 18:53
Good help you. Brown is an accountant, not a leader.
I suspect he'll be around until the next election - which I suspect will be a hung parliament (no overall majority). I'm not sure if he would survive that - he's got all the charisma of mouldy lettuce. There are a couple of younger one - Allan Millburn springs to mind - who might succeed him at that point. John Reid might try as well - but Labour really need an English leader next time.

Gordon is a beancounter and a capable administrator - to give him his due. He is not - as you rightly say - an inspirational leader. Hopefully, we can muddle through!

PubFather
09 Oct 06,, 19:03
New Labour seem to want a coronation for Gordon Brown, not an open contest for the position. Yes, I know we used to be democratic, but that was before New Labour came to power in the 1997 elections. As to the other possible candidates, they are all mental lightweights. As for running a country - don't make me laugh - they couldn't run a bath between them. Britain really is in a parlous state, and I don't see any leader of stature and substance emerging in any of the other parties either. Come back Maggie - we need you more than ever!
Glyn - use a smaller font for the love of Jesus man!!

There some capable ministers in the New Labour ranks and some rank half-wits as well, much the same as any other party.
Maggie had a steely resolve and a clear vision - just a shame she was virtually barking mad by the end of her reign!!

We do need a politician of genuine substance to emerge. Quite where he/she will appear from is beyond me - certainly not from David Blair... oops, I mean Cameron.

Unfortunately, we have the politicians we deserve at the moment - we wouldnt vote for people with the courage to tell us hard and difficult truths, so we get bland soundbite mongers like Cameron.

Not enough of us bother our backsides to vote - and why? Because we are largely comfortable economically. Those what arent rely on the state's largesse to smoke and drink away their misery and don't bother to vote because they might miss Jerry Springer in the afternoon....

The Chap
02 Nov 06,, 06:45
in modern times no Scotsman will ever be elected UK PM. One may be appointed.

Then promptly booted out.

Brown is the greatest tory chum.:biggrin:

Bill
02 Nov 06,, 06:58
I say we clone Churchill.

All those in favor, say AYE!

Ray
02 Nov 06,, 09:15
Currently, none have the stature to lead Britain, let alone dream of singing 'Rule Britainnia'.

Not that Blair was capable. He was merely acceptable with a flair for 'big talk' that went down well with the international community, especially the Islamic ones!

The Queen alone has the stature.

BenRoethig
02 Nov 06,, 13:22
I say we clone Churchill.

All those in favor, say AYE!

Then again, they did vote him out of office.

glyn
02 Nov 06,, 15:12
I am sorry to have to tell you that we presently don't have a single obvious candidate. However, it would be wrong to think no leader will emerge. Look at the lesson in the US, nobody gave Lincoln a chance - and he became one of the most famous and worthy politicians in history.

Bill
02 Nov 06,, 17:21
Then again, they did vote him out of office.
Well people are morons.

PubFather
02 Nov 06,, 17:31
in modern times no Scotsman will ever be elected UK PM. One may be appointed.

Then promptly booted out.

Brown is the greatest tory chum.:biggrin:
I assume you meant in the future?

As Blair is arguably Scottish, as were at least 3 other PM's of the 20th Century.

Not about that - who would the English vote for who wasnt at least partially Scots?

David Cameron (distantly related to the old Scottish crown), Menzies Campbell (as Scottish as the next man) and Gordon Brown (equally as Scottish)... ;)

Let's face it, you've been taken over :biggrin:

Blademaster
02 Nov 06,, 18:19
Well people are morons.

Well they voted him out of office because he wasn't willing to give up India and the people of Britain knew that keeping India wasn't feasible. Churchill refused to listen to reason and Alton did. As soon as Alton was in office, he immediately set up plans to leave India.

That's one black mark against Churchill. I am not really fond of CHurchill because of his dislike and attitude toward Indians and India. But he was one hell of a war leader.

glyn
02 Nov 06,, 18:39
I assume you meant in the future?

As Blair is arguably Scottish, as were at least 3 other PM's of the 20th Century.

Not about that - who would the English vote for who wasnt at least partially Scots?

David Cameron (distantly related to the old Scottish crown), Menzies Campbell (as Scottish as the next man) and Gordon Brown (equally as Scottish)... ;)

Let's face it, you've been taken over :biggrin:


Imagine having the hateful John Reid as PM. For those who don't know, he's Scottish too. He likes to be addressed as 'Doctor', but his doctorate was for history - specialising in West Africa! He was once a member of the communist party.

glyn
02 Nov 06,, 18:41
Well they voted him out of office because he wasn't willing to give up India and the people of Britain knew that keeping India wasn't feasible. Churchill refused to listen to reason and Alton did. As soon as Alton was in office, he immediately set up plans to leave India.

That's one black mark against Churchill. I am not really fond of CHurchill because of his dislike and attitude toward Indians and India. But he was one hell of a war leader.

For 'Alton' read Clement Atlee.

Blademaster
02 Nov 06,, 21:36
For 'Alton' read Clement Atlee.

My mistake.