Tony Blair has said he will give any successor the time needed to establish himself – his clearest indication yet that he will not seek to serve out a full third term of office.
But speaking at a press conference at Downing Street the British Prime Minister refused to set out a timetable for his departure. “Though there are those who just genuinly want me to honour the committment to ensure a stable and orderly transition and I repeat I will honour it and with the time plainly needed for my successor to establish himself. There are also those whose desire is to change radically the direction of policy and to not renew New Labour but to reverse it. That way lies not a fourth term victory but a defeat and a return to opposition. And I will fight that all the way.” Supporters of finance minister Gordon Brown are pressing Blair to make way at the top following the Labour Party’s trouncing in local elections last week.