Tony Blair To Step Down Within a Year

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Sep 07, 2006 10:29 AM

ABC has it in the breaking news bar. No story yet.

Here's the Beeb:

Tony Blair has confirmed he will be stepping down as prime minister within the next 12 months.

Speaking on a visit to a London school, Mr Blair said the Labour conference in three weeks' time would be his last.

He did not set a precise date but would do so at a future date - when it was in the interests of the country.

The announcement follows 48 hours of bitter feuding and a string of resignations over Mr Blair's refusal to name an exit date.

Mr Blair said the past week "has not been our finest hour, to be frank".

"I think what is important now is that we understand that it's the interests of the country that come first and we move on.

"I would have preferred to do this in my own way but it has been pretty obvious from what a lot of my Cabinet colleagues have said earlier in the week.

"The next party conference in a couple of weeks will be my last party conference as party leader.

"The next TUC conference next week will be my last TUC - probably to the relief of both of us.

"But I am not going to set a precise date now. I don't think that's right. I will do that at a future date and I'll do it in the interests of the country and depending on the circumstances of the time."

Do these guys get a do-over? How does that work?

Video of Blair, here.