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Thread: Labour MPs Call for Blair Resignation

  1. #1
    beltman713 Guest

    Labour MPs Call for Blair Resignation

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/eu...ain/index.html

    Labour MPs: Blair must go soon

    Sunday, May 8, 2005 Posted: 1405 GMT (2205 HKT)

    LONDON, England -- Labour MPs have begun to call on Tony Blair to quit Downing Street long before he completes a full third term at Number 10.

    Speculation has been mounting that Blair would face pressure to step down as prime minister since he won Thursday's election with a significantly reduced parliamentary majority.

    Blair has said he would serve a full third term but not take the Labour Party into another election. Thursday's victory marked the first time a Labour leader had won a third straight election.

    However, more than a dozen Labour MPs have told British media that Blair should go sooner rather than later and urged a swift handover to heir apparent and finance minister Gordon Brown.

    "Anyone on the streets knows we were not elected because Tony Blair was popular this time around," former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the BBC.

    "The question Tony Blair should be reflecting on this weekend is ... whether now might be a better time to let a new leader in who could then achieve the unity we need if we are going to go forward," said Cook, who quit the Cabinet over Blair's support for war in Iraq.

    London MP John Austin told The Sunday Times newspaper: "He was a liability and not an asset in this election. You can't beat about the bush. Blair was a negative factor on the doorstep, time and time and time again."

    Labour left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, a fierce critic of Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq, predicted the prime minister could be out of Downing Street within a year.

    "I think he might well decide that the end of the G-8 presidency is the time to go," Corbyn told Channel 4. "I don't think he would want to go in the middle of it."

    Britain's one-year presidency of the Group of Eight major industrialized countries concludes at the end of 2005.

    Other MPs suggested Blair might want to step down after a UK referendum on the European Union constitution expected to be held next spring -- or even after the French referendum on the EU charter later this month.

    "In many ways I think the French electorate will decide the timing because if the French vote 'no' then there will be really no rational reason for him to stay on," said former Labour health secretary Frank Dobson.

    Writing in The Mail on Sunday, actress and former minister Glenda Jackson, a north London MP and vocal critic of the Iraq war, said: "The people have spoken. In fact they've screamed at the top of their lungs. And their message is clear. They want Tony Blair gone."

    But Blair shows few signs of being ready to leave his job soon.

    A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on the reports, other than to point to Blair's statement last September in which he said that if re-elected he would serve a full third term.

    "There has been no change," the spokesman told UK's Press Association.

    The Observer newspaper reported that within Blair's private circle, the timetable being discussed would involve him triggering a party leadership contest in July 2008 and remaining as prime minister while the succession is resolved, allowing the new leader to take over that autumn.

    Labour communications chief Alastair Campbell dismissed calls Sunday for Blair to step aside.

    "He has said he is going to stay for a full term and I think it is absolutely right that he does that," Campbell told the BBC.

    "What is more, you look at the papers and there is a sense that parts of the media, they just pile it on and pile it on because they just do, it is what they do.

    "But some of the people quoted in the papers today -- you could have got them to say 'Blair must go' any day of the week."

    Brown, Blair's chancellor of the exchequer, is seen as his likely heir.

    "There is going to have to be another leader in place when the next election comes and you would have to put your money on Gordon," Campbell said.

    "I think Gordon has shown both in his management of the economy but also in the vision that he has for the country and the values that he holds, he is a formidable political figure."

    Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who retained her portfolio in Blair's Cabinet reshuffle after the election, said: "If I were putting my money on who will be the next leader of the Labour Party, the next prime minister once Tony Blair stands down, as he has indicated he will, then I expect the next leader to be Gordon Brown, yes."

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The thing that I don't understand is how Tony Blair got re-elected in the first place. If he's so unpopular, how did he win?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #3
    pcteaser Guest
    They weren't voting for Blair. They were voting for the party he represents. I guess it works a little differently over there.

  4. #4
    frindevil Guest

    uk

    That is exactly right. The Tory candidate also was a very weak candidate. The unspoken agreement being get us voted back in, and then we'll replace you. Don't and you'll find it difficult to do what you need done, even within your own Labour party.

    I remember fondly when Neil Kinnock was running when I was a kid, and I just wanted Maggie Thatcher beat!

    Tony Blair isn't all bad, we went to the same University!

    - Frind

  5. #5
    Ophie Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by pcteaser
    They weren't voting for Blair. They were voting for the party he represents. I guess it works a little differently over there.
    Works the same in Canada.

  6. #6
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    I don't get it.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Explain it to me like I'm an American.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #8
    Ophie Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    I don't get it.
    They're really just voting to get enough seats to win a majority in the House. The more seats, the more votes. The Labour Party won a majority, but just barely. The Conservatives gained a whole bunch of seats in the process. So, the power the Labour party once had is greatly diminished and they're really gonna have a hard time getting their agenda pushed through now that the Conservatives have so many seats.

    Does that make any sense?

  9. #9
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    It makes sense... how did we come up with our cochomemy (sp?) system?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #10
    Ophie Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    It makes sense... how did we come up with our cochomemy (sp?) system?
    Good question.

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