Seven junior members of the British government have resigned over Tony Blair’s refusal to set a date for departure.
The British Prime Minister faces growing pressure from his own party, the public and the media to either step down now or say when he will.
Britain’s newspapers are full of speculation that he will go within the year, with The Sun saying he will leave on May 31 – less than a month after he would have been in power for 10 years.
Junior Defence Minister Tom Watson, previously an arch loyalist, was among 17 Labour MPs to sign a letter calling on Blair to quit. Watson resigned soon after.
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett said:
“Tony Blair and Gordon Brown can accept there will be a transition, that there is a process and whatever the timetable, they can work together, recognising there can only be one prime minister at a time.”
Labour hold their annual party conference this month. It could provide an opportunity for Blair’s opponents to force a leadership contest.
But a challenger would first need the support of 72 MPs and then the support of a majority of the conference in a further vote.