Six Leave Blair Cabinet in Protest
Six MPs have left Tony Blair’s government in protest because he refuses to name a date certain for his departure.
Six junior members of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government resigned Wednesday to protest his refusal to set a date to leave office amid a growing Labour Party revolt. The rebellion flared despite strong hints by senior ministers that Blair planned to step down within a year, and a news report claiming the departure date would be July 26.
“I no longer believe that your remaining in office is in the interest of either the party or the country,” Tom Watson, who was minister for veterans in the Ministry of Defense, said in a letter to the prime minister.
Five lawmakers who serve as unpaid aides to government ministers also quit their posts rather than remove their names from a letter demanding Blair set a timeframe for his departure.
Most bizarre. After all, Labour was re-elected with Blair as the standard bearer. Given the tension his policies have created, however, Blair should either set a timetable for his departure or simply announce that he’ll finish out his term absent a no confidence vote. Leaving things up in the air is perhaps the worst strategy.