British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his presumed successor Gordon Brown have been on the campaign trail ahead of today’s local elections in England. They are urging voters to look beyond the scandals afflicting the British government to Labour’s successful handling of the economy.
Polls predict a rough day for the government, with a right wing, anti-immigration party benefiting from protest votes. Labour is under attack over the release of more than a thousand foreign criminals who should have been considered for deportation Stephan Shakespeare, at the polling company Yougov, said: “Any gains for extreme right wing parties are alarming, but in the broader context I don’t think this is part of a bigger move to extremism in this country. “I think it’s extremely unlikely and it needs to be kept in perspective. BNP are the recipients, if you like, of this year’s protest vote,” he added. Tony Blair has also had to deal with revelations that his deputy had an affair with his secretary and claims that Labour offered seats in parliament’s upper House of Lords in return for donations and loans.