Tony Blair makes his farewell speech to the Labour Party faithful today; one day after Gordon Brown made his keynote address in a bid to replace him as British Prime Minister. The Chancellor, speaking at the Labour Party conference in Manchester in northern England, laid out a centrist vision. He pledged more money for education, more devolution of government power, greater efforts in the fight against global warming and in the fight against terrorism.
With his wife looking on, he launched his campaign for Britain’s top job. He said: “I’m confident that my experience and my values gives me the strength to take the tough decisions. I would relish the opportunity to take on David Cameron and the Conservative Party.” Blair applauded the speech but talk of their differences persisted offstage.
Downing Street denied a report that Tony Blair’s wife – Cherie – had called Brown a liar for saying that it had been a privilege to serve under her husband. The allegation is likely to overshadow Blair’s speech today and make life harder for Brown as he attempts to convince the Labour Party rank and file that he is now the one to lead them. Brown currently trails in the polls five points behind Conservative leader David Cameron.