Blair, after COUP effort:”I’d like to apologise on behalf of the Labour Party”
Here is the text of Tony Blair’s notice that he would leave within a year. This followed the attempted coup by some of his MPs. A link to view the video is at the foot of this page.
Statement from Prime Minister Tony Blair
Thursday 7 September 2006
“The first thing I’d like to do is to apologise actually on behalf of the Labour Party for the last week, which with everything that’s going on back here and in the world has not been our finest hour to be frank. But, I think what is important now is that we understand that it’s the interests of the country that come first and we move on.
“Now, as for my timing and date of departure, I would have preferred to do this in my own my way but has been pretty obvious from what many of my Cabinet colleagues have said, earlier in the week, the next party conference in a couple of weeks will be my last party conference as party leader. The next TUC will be my last TUC, probably to the relief of both of us. But I’m not going to set a precise date now. I don’t think that’s right. I will do that at a future date and I’ll do it in the interests of country and depending on the circumstances of the time. Now that doesn’t in any way take away from fact it’s my last conference but I think the precise timetable has to be left up to me and to be done in a proper way.
“Now, I also say one other thing after the last week. I think it’s important for the Labour Party to understand and I think the majority of people in the party do understand, that it’s the public that comes first and it’s the country that matters and we can’t treat the public as irrelevant bystanders in a subject as important as who is their PM. So we should just bear that in mind in the way we conduct ourselves in the time to come. And in the meantime I think it’s important that we get on with the business. I mean I was in a primary school earlier. Fantastic new buildings, great new IT suite. School results improving. I’m here at this school that just in the last few years has come on by leaps and bounds doing fantastically well. We’ve got the blockade on the Lebanon lifted today. You know, there are important things going on in the world. I think I speak for all my Cabinet colleagues when I say that we would prefer to get on with those things because those are the things that really matter to the country. So, as I say, it’s been a somewhat difficult week but I think it’s time now to move on and I think we will.”