Blair to name resignation date next week

Tony Blair will make a statement next week on when he will stand down as prime minister.

Tony Blair will make a statement next week on when he will stand down as prime minister.

Speaking on GMTV in an interview to mark his 10th anniversary in office, Mr Blair also praised chancellor Gordon Brown, saying that he would make "a great prime minister".

Responding to an article in The Sun in which Mr Brown awarded him 10 out of 10 for his achievements in office, Mr Blair said he would give the chancellor the same score for his record.

"One of the things I very much hope will be part of the legacy of the government is the strongest economy in the western world which he has been responsible for,'' he said. "I have always said about him that he would make a great prime minister and I believe that."

Mr Blair said it was "understandable" that many people no longer trusted him, but rejected suggestions that Labour's current low standing in the opinion polls meant it could not win the next general election.

"I lived through the 1980s when Labour used to win by-elections, be ahead in the opinion polls, but when it came to a general election people make a more fundamental decision," he said.

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"Even though, for understandable reasons, there may be parts of the electorate that don't trust me any more, actually I have always trusted the people in the sense that I think they take a very sensible view of things in the end."

Mr Blair is widely expected to resign on May 9 or 10 following this week's elections to English councils, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

Labour Party sources said today that MPs and union officials were being given details of the process of finding his successor.

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