May 07, 2006

Blair Gets The Boot

From his former best mate:
Gordon Brown will today urge Tony Blair to stand aside as Prime Minister, challenging his embattled rival to "set down" a clear timetable for a handover of power.

In a carefully timed intervention, Mr Brown will tell Mr Blair that he cannot ignore the "warning signal" from voters at last week's local elections, saying that Labour must "do what we have got to do" . He will tell Mr Blair that "there is going to be a transition to a new leader" and that "the important thing is that we set down how we are going to bring about that".
More interesting from a US perspective, perhaps, is the post-mortem on demoted Foreign Secretary Jack Straw:
Jack Straw's fate was sealed in a phone call from the White House to Tony Blair last month, according to the former foreign secretary's friends.

They say President George Bush was furious that Mr Straw said it was "nuts" to use nuclear weapons against Iran, an option reported to be under active consideration in Washington.

Downing Street had already warned Mr Straw repeatedly to tone down his complete rejection of the military route as "inconceivable", insisting it was important to keep all options on the table...

There is said to be jubilation this weekend among Washington's neo-conservatives at Mr Straw's demise. One retired senior US intelligence officer told his British counterpart recently that the White House lost confidence in the Foreign Secretary at least six months ago.
And this is worth noting:
Downing Street figures note that leaks of Foreign Office papers on Iraq almost always show Mr Straw as a moderating influence over Blair and Bush.
Jack Straw, leaker???


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