Blair to Stand Down June 27

May 10, 2007 01:51 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Tony Blair announces his coming resignation in a speech to Labour Party activists, heralding the end of 10 years as British Prime Minister.

30 Second Summary

With no one to challenge his succession, finance minister Gordon Brown will become the new British prime minister at the end of June.

Brown has been waiting some years for this appointment. Political legend has it that Blair promised to pass on the torch at the end of his first term in power.

Pundits are now hard at work assessing the legacy of the Blair years.

Tony Blair's three election victories overturned the political status quo in England. When he first became prime minister, the Labour party had never won two consecutive terms in government. Labour's opponents, the Conservative Party, styled themselves as the "natural party of power."

Despite such unprecedented electoral success, Blair's recent years have been troubled. He opposed public opinion to send troops to Iraq, a move that has only become more unpopular with time.

He also faces a continuing police investigation into his party’s alleged trade in political positions, known as the “cash for honors” inquiry.

In his parting speech, Blair talked of coming to power in 1997: “Expectations were so high, too high. … Now in 2007, you can easily point to the challenges, the things that are wrong, the grievances that fester.”

He went on to argue that the economy, the job market, and the health system had all improved during his tenure. “Think back,” he said. “Think about your own living standards then in May 1997 and now.”



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