Blair to quit on June 27

Tony Blair will quit as Labour leader on June 27.He made the announcement in his Sedgefield constituency this lunchtime, watched by his wife Cherie Booth and 250 local supporters.

Tony Blair will quit as Labour leader on June 27.

He made the announcement in his Sedgefield constituency this lunchtime, watched by his wife Cherie Booth and 250 local supporters.

“Today I announce my decision to stand down from the leadership of the Labour Party,” he said.

“The party will now select a new leader. On the 27th of June I will tender my resignation from the post of Prime Minister to the Queen.'

He said it was fitting that he was ending his political career where it had started, and said he left a country that was “comfortable in its own skin”.

“Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong, but believe one thing if nothing else, I did what I thought was right for our country.”

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He had formally told the Cabinet of his plans to quit earlier today.

Chancellor Gordon Brown is by far the favourite to take over the prime ministership.

He now seems unlikely to face any heavyweight opposition to him becoming prime minister, but left-wing backbenchers John McDonnell and Michael Meacher have both said they would consider running.

Deputy leader John Prescott has already said he will leave at the same time as Mr Blair, with six ministers already in the running for his job.

Earlier, election agent John Burton said he believed Mr Blair would remain as an MP until the next general election unless a major job in the international arena came up.

He added to speculation that Mr Blair will set up a charitable foundation, saying: “He won't leave us to go swanning around the US on the lecture tour, that will come later when he sets up the foundation.'

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has tabled a Commons motion calling for a snap general election following Mr Blair's resignation, saying the PM had broken his promise to serve a full term.

- What do you think of Mr Blair's ten years in power and the prospects for the future? Post your views below.

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