The man likely to replace British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday he believes Blair will arrange a dignified and orderly exit from the post.
An opinion poll published yesterday, which pegged the governing Labour Party's support at a 14-year low, found that half the respondents hoped that Blair would resign within a year.
"I think we can prove to the world that we can do these things in a unified and proper way," Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said in an interview with GMTV.
Blair reaffirmed on Monday that intended to step down before the next national election, and that he would leave his successor sufficient time to settle into the job. He confirmed that Brown was his choice to take over. But he rejected a growing cacophony of calls for him to name the day that he intends to resign.
"To state a timetable would simply paralyze the proper working of government, put at risk the necessary changes we are making for Britain and therefore damage the country. It wouldn't end this distraction but merely take it to a new level," Blair said.
"The public are the boss. If we are not careful and don't get on with the business of governing, we will lose them," he said.
Brown said Blair had not told him of the date on which he intends to leave.
"I think what he is going to do is talk to senior colleagues about it," Brown said.
In the Populus poll published yesterday by the Times, Labour fell to 30 percent support, eight points behind the main opposition Conservatives.
Labour's level of support was down six points from the previous month. The drop apparently reflected the impact of revelations that more than a thousand foreign prisoners had been released without being considered for deportation, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's admission of an extramarital affair and continued calls from some sections of the Labour Party for Blair to stand down.
Following Labour's third-place finish in local elections last week, Blair shook up the Cabinet. Charles Clarke, who was held responsible for the prisoners debacle, lost his job as home secretary and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was demoted.
In the poll, 72 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the reshuffle was intended to distract attention from the government's problems, and 54 percent said the government's biggest problem was Blair himself. Half of the respondents wanted Blair to leave within a year, including 28 percent of those who identified themselves as Labour supporters.
The poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,509 adults from Friday to Sunday, and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s