In London, discontent with Prime Minister Tony Blair continues to simmer as he tries to end the infighting in the governing Labour Party. Anti-war protesters heckled the premier as he arrived for a party meeting. Opinion polls in Britain show Blair’s reputation has been hit hard by recent arguments about the timing of the end of his premiership, expected next year.
Addressing a party meeting in the capital, he pleaded for a stop to the public criticism. Attacks on the leadership are turning off the public, he asserted: “The good news is that we are three years away from an election and we can remake ourselves. But we can only do it, not by behaving like we did last week, but by behaving like we did when we were hungry for power, before 1997, when we understood that what mattered at the end were the people and the country, not ourselves,” he said.
Blair hopes the squabbling over his succession will have blown over by the time the Labour Party meets for its annual conference later this month in Manchester.