PRESSURE GROWS ON BLAIR TO STEP DOWN; PM tagged 'lame duck.Byline: By Dave King
PRESSURE was growing yesterday on Tony Blair Noun 1. Tony Blair - British statesman who became prime minister in 1997 (born in 1953)
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, Blair to stand down early - and make way for Gordon Brown.
Former foreign secretary Robin Cook, who quit the Cabinet in protest over the Iraq war Iraq War: see under Persian Gulf Wars.
or Second Persian Gulf War
Brief conflict in 2003 between Iraq and a combined force of troops largely from the U.S. and Great Britain; and a subsequent U.S. , claimed Labour had won the election despite the Prime Minister and not because of him.
And senior Scottish backbencher Ian Davidson Ian Davidson can refer to different people:
The term lame duck generally describes one who holds power when that power is certain to end in the near future. Prime Minister from day one'.
Speaking on BBC's Politics Show, Cook claimed Iraq had been a major issue with voters and added: 'Anyone who was on the streets knows we were not elected because Tony Blair was popular this time around.'
He said the PM should now consider whether, having secured his place in Labour Party and British history by securing the third term, it would be better to make way for a new leader who could unify the party and the country.
He claimed seats had been lost to the Tories because people who had voted Labour in the past had switched to the Lib Dems.
Cook warned: 'The dangerous position we are in is that the progressive vote in Britain has split between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
'Some people, I think wrongly so, perceive the Liberal Democrats to be to the left of Labour.
'I think what Tony Blair has now got to show is whether he is the man who can actually rebrand rebrand
to change or update the image of (an organization or product) the Labour Party as the radical alternative, the authentic voice of progressive Britain, and win back those votes we lost to Liberal Democrats.'
He said Blair had to decide whether or not he wanted to test his electoral success in contests next year such as the English council elections or the referendum on the European Constitution.
The Livingston MP said: 'The question Tony Blair has to ask himself is - - can he by next year win back those people who deserted him this time?'
Backbencher Davidson said the party needed to start their 'succession planning' now. He said: 'What we want to see is regime change. We cannot have the narrow focus of an unrelenting New Labour regime.
'We have got to include all the views of those inside the Labour Party and Labour votersButBlair'sformerpoliticalsecretaryandnewMP for Wolverhampton South Wolverhampton South may refer to:
He said: 'I am not sure the correct response to losing some seats to the Tories is to suggest we don't need New Labour any more or we should narrow our appeal and move from a coalition which has delivered three election victoriesHe was backed by Glasgow South MP Tom Harris, who pointed out: 'Tony Blair is the most successful Labour leader in history and talk of regime change is utter nonsense.'
But former 'Blair babe' Helen Clark added to the PM's problems by announcing she is quitting Labour and applying to join the Conservatives.
Clark, who lost her Peterborough seat to Tory candidate Stewart Jackson on Thursday, was one of the 100 Labour women elected to Parliament in the Labour landslide of 1997.
She wrote a resignation letter to Blair saying: 'I have gone from being proud to be elected as a Labour MP to believing that a one-nation Conservative Party under a new leader would serve the country better
CHANGE: Davidson; FEAR: Cook spoke of need to tackle Lib Dems; THIRD TIME LUCKY? Critics say Blair's return to Downing Street was not down to his popularity this time