September 07, 2006

Blair Set To Quit Within 24 Hours???

Breaking News:
British Prime Minister Tony Blair faced a growing rebellion over his leadership after reports he planned to stay in office until mid-2007 prompted seven former loyalists to quit their posts.

After the wave of resignations, media reported that Blair was expected to outline his departure timetable with a statement on Thursday.
More from the Guardian:
Gordon Brown made clear yesterday that Tony Blair's coded offer to leave Downing Street within the next 12 months was not good enough.

Allies of the chancellor said that Mr Brown was demanding that the prime minister set a timetable for his departure and make the details public.
And the Times:
"The opposition to Mr Blair has now gone well beyond the Brownite ranks and that's where Downing Street has been out of touch. Even quite loyal Blair supporters feel now that the time is up and Downing Street never saw that coming.

"We're waiting now to hear whether Tony Blair has got anything more to say. He's in Downing Street and due to talk to Gordon Brown. Whether he will say more about his leadership plans, given the clamour, we will see, but at the moment there's only one question - how long can he survive?

"I think the chances of him being able to complete the May 31 timetable, leaving Downing Street in July, are very slight and the pressure will be on him to hand over before the Scottish and Welsh elections next year so that they don't become a referendum on his leadership and a new leader can use them as a launch pad for a two-year premiership.

"The Prime Minister is going to the Middle East at the weekend and he will have to say something before then, if only to give himself a breathing space before the Labour Conference starts on September 24."


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