Prime Minister Tony Blair Announces Resignation

By: AP
By: AP

It looks like British Prime Minister Tony Blair has bought himself some time, though perhaps not much by Thursday’s announcement that he'll step down within a year.

He was responding to pressure from members of his own Labor party, including eight junior officials who quit on Wednesday. They were dissatisfied with Blair's handling of the Iraq war, among other issues.

Blair appeared to have struck a deal with his expected successor, Treasury Chief Gordon Brown, who signaled his support in a statement ahead of time.

However, it is not clear if Blair's exit strategy will be speedy enough to satisfy the critics in his party. One of them says he's hoping for an "open and transparent process of appointing our new leader sooner rather than later."

Blair, though, still won't set a specific departure date, saying the timetable has to be up to him, and that it "has to be done in the proper way."

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