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Byline: JAMES HARDY, Political Editor

RATTLED Tony Blair recast himself as the "listening" Prime Minister yesterday in a desperate bid to quell Labour unrest.

He declared: "We need to listen to the British people carefully, myself above all."

Mr Blair admitted he had "taken some knocks" in a string of controversies - but pledged to stay the course and win a third term.

And he vowed: "We are up for the fight."

The PM tried to win over Labour MPs in the run-up to a new rebellion over health plans. He promised to explain how Labour reforms would transform the lives of ordinary people.

He said: "The renewal of our public services, the recasting of our welfare state, is the great progressive challenge.

"Perhaps too often we get lost in the thicket of the reform process, perhaps we don't step back from it and explain things.

"So we should stick at it and measure our changes against a vision of a fairer and stronger Britain."

Voice of the Mirror: Page 6
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 5, 2003
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