Search

Blair coming to town today

PUBLISHED: 07:56 30 May 2002 | UPDATED: 12:01 03 March 2010

PRIME minister Tony Blair was in East Anglia today on a whistle-stop tour around Suffolk and Norfolk.

Just 24 hours after appointing a new Transport Secretary, he was putting the region's trains to the test by taking an Awayday to Ipswich and Norwich.

PRIME minister Tony Blair was in East Anglia today on a whistle-stop tour around Suffolk and Norfolk.

Just 24 hours after appointing a new Transport Secretary, he was putting the region's trains to the test by taking an Awayday to Ipswich and Norwich.

Mr Blair was in the region to visit the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital next to the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

He was then due to visit a Suffolk primary school before meeting local civic leaders in Ipswich.

His day was being rounded off by a private meeting with Labour Party members in the town when they were due to take part in a question and answer session with the Prime Minister.

Mr Blair was taking the train from London to East Anglia – over the rail line which hit the headlines earlier this month when pictures allegedly showing flaws in the track hit the national headlines.

Yesterday he appointed Alistair Darling as the new Transport Secretary – and allowed him to concentrate on that.

As Mr Darling was starting to get to grips with his new job, his boss was travelling through the East Anglian countryside on an Anglia Railways train.

Discreet security arrangements had been made – and rail chiefs were praying there was no repeat of the problems when Iain Duncan Smith came to Ipswich during the by-election campaign in November.

On that occasion, a track fault at Witham, near the area featured in this month's controversy, delayed his arrival in town by almost two hours.

While Mr Darling has been given the job of Transport Secretary, other sections of the giant empire previously run by Stephen Byers were handed back to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Mr Prescott will now have sole control of the government's controversial plans to introduce regional government in this country.

He will also handle the government's sometimes tricky relations with local councils.

See later editions of today's Evening Star for an exclusive interview with the Prime Minister.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star