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Archive for Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Blair reportedly sets date to leave office

September 6, 2006

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— Britain's Tony Blair will step down as Prime Minister in July 2007 after more than 10 years leading his country, a newspaper reported today after two ministers acknowledged he was likely to leave office next year.

Blair intends to resign as leader of the governing Labour party on May 31, 2007 - triggering a leadership election likely to take around eight weeks, The Sun tabloid reported.

He would then be replaced as prime minister on July 26, the newspaper said.

George Pascoe-Watson, political editor of The Sun, told Britain's Sky News television he would not disclose the sources of his story, and said only that the newspaper's previous predictions on the date of elections had been "absolutely bang on the money."

Blair was appointed Labour leader in July 1994 and took office on May 2, 1997. In October 2004, he said he would not serve a fourth term as Prime Minister, later promising to hand over to a successor in sufficient time ahead of a likely 2009 national election.

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