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ON THIS DAY
Monday, 19 July, 2004, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
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Timeline: Blair's 10 years of leadership
12 May, 1994
Labour leader John Smith dies of a heart attack at 55.
The news of the Labour leader's death came as a huge shock to the party and the nation. The affable Scot was widely respected as a man of integrity and was expected to lead Labour to victory at the next general election. His deputy Margaret Beckett took temporary charge of the Labour helm while a leadership election was organised.
31 May, 1994
Tony Blair and and Gordon Brown meet at Granita restaurant in Islington and reportedly agree a deal.
1 June, 1994
Gordon Brown rules himself out of leadership race.
21 July, 1994
Tony Blair beats John Prescott and Margaret Beckett to become leader of Labour party with 57 of the vote.
4 October, 1994
Blair makes his first party conference speech as leader calling on the party to revise its constitution and drop Clause IV.
1 December, 1994
It is confirmed that the Blairs intend to send their son Euan to the London Oratory a grantmaintained Catholic school.
London Oratory boys' school is one of the top secondary schools in the capital. It does not charge fees but nor is it an ordinary comprehensive thus the Blairs' announcement was viewed as a move away from traditional Labour roots.
25 April, 1995
Blair taunts Prime Minister John Major at PMQs saying I lead my party he follows his.
29 April, 1995
Party backs rewriting of clause IV Labours historic commitment to nationalisation.
The rewriting of this key tenet of the Labour constitution was part of Blair's modernisation progreamme. He was determined to make 'new' Labour as the party was now being called more receptive to the free market and the middle classes.
7 October, 1995
Tory MP and former minister Alan Howarth resigns from the Tories and crosses the floor to join Labour.
11 April, 1996
Labour wins the Staffordshire South East byelection reducing the governments Commons majority to three.
Draft manifesto entitled New Labour is endorsed by Conference and then by the whole party membership.
The manifesto began "'Our case is simple that Britain can and must be better". Labour also issued a card bearing five pledges Cut class sizes for five six and sevenyearolds Fast track punishment for young offenders Cut waiting lists by 100000 250000 young people off benefits and into work No income tax increase.
20 January, 1997
Labour pledges not to raise personal tax rates during first term in office.
18 March, 1997
The Sun announces it will back Blair at the general election.
1 May, 1997
Labour win the general election by a landslide ending 18 years of Tory rule under Thatcher and Major.
For many Britons who stayed up to watch the election coverage a defining moment was when the usually true blue seat of Enfield Southgate was announced. Young and openly gay Labour candidate Stephen Twigg defeated the then defence secretary and darling of the Tory right Michael Portillo. Twigg's joy and Portillo's disappointment summed up the mood of the night.
2 May, 1997
Tony Blair becomes the youngest prime minister since 1812. He has a huge Commons majority of 179.
6 May, 1997
Chancellor Gordon Brown gives the Bank of England the freedom to set interest rates.
18 June, 1997
Britain signs up to the EUs Social Chapter
19 June, 1997
William Hague elected to succeed John Major as Tory leader.
31 August, 1997
Tony Blair reflects the mood of much of the nation on the death of Diana Princess of Wales dubbing her the peoples princess.
12 September, 1997
Scotland backs devolution by referendum a move followed a week later by Wales.
27 October, 1997
Gordon Brown rules out entry before 1999 to what was then called EMU saying five key economic tests have not been met.
Labour Party promises to return a £1m donation from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had made his donation in January 1997 although it was not made public at that time. Just days after the election Health Secretary Frank Dobson announced a future ban on sports sponsorship by tobacco companies. But later in the year the government proposed to exempt F1 from the ban. Journalists began to look into whether Mr Ecclestone had made donations to Labour.
11 December, 1997
Blairs first major rebellion plans to cut benefits to single parents sparks a revolt by 47 backbenchers.
10 April, 1998
Good Friday Agreement detailing powersharing devolved government is hammered out after months of negotiation.
The agreement was signed by all key Northern Ireland parties except for the DUP. It was then posted to every household in Northern Ireland and approved by referendum on 22 May 1998. The Northern Ireland Assembly was set up but has faltered over the issue of paramilitary decommissioning.
20 June, 1998
Conservative MP Peter TempleMorris defects to Labour.
27 July, 1998
First Cabinet reshuffle.
Four ministers were sacked including Harriet Harman and Leader of the Lords Ivor Richard. Minister for Social Security Reform Frank Field resigned from government. Peter Mandelson entered the Cabinet as Trade and Industry Secretary.
17 October, 1998
Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is arrested while in London to undergo surgery.
General Pinochet was arrested at the request of Spanish judges seeking to extradite him to face charges related to more than 4000 political killings alleged to have taken place during his 19731990 rule in Chile. After long legal wranglings then Home Secretary Jack Straw ordered he was too ill to be extradited and allowed him to return Chile.
27 October, 1998
Ron Davies quits as Welsh Secretary after a moment of madness on Clapham Common.
Mr Davies became the first member of Tony Blair's Cabinet to resign admitting a "serious lapse of judgement" following an incident near Clapham Common where he met a stranger and was later robbed at knifepoint. He had been the favourite to become the First Secretary of the Welsh Assembly after winning a ballot earlier in the year to head the Labour group in the assembly.
16 December, 1998
Blair and US President Bill Clinton launch air strikes on Iraq after UN reports Saddam is not complying with weapons inspections.
Peter Mandelson resigns over an undisclosed home loan from fellow minister Geoffrey Robinson.
Peter Mandelson resigned as Trade and Industry Secretary after it emerged that he had borrowed £373000 from Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson to buy a house when the pair were in opposition. Mr Robinson also resigned the same day. The loan itself was not the key issue it was that Mr Mandelson had not declared it.
6 May, 1999
Inaugural elections to Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.
Alun Michael became First Secretary in Wales Donald Dewar became Scottish First Minister and formed a coalition with the Lib Dems.
3 June, 1999
Serbian president Milosevic backs down over Kosovo after 72 days of Nato bombing led by UK and US forces.
20 June, 1999
Alun Michael narrowly wins the Welsh leadership election although a row ensues over secret union block votes.
Wales Labour Party narrowly voted for Alun Michael to be its leader in the National Assembly but only thanks to the use of secret union block votes. The grassroots party members had overwhelmingly backed Rhodri Morgan the Cardiff West MP.
9 August, 1999
Charles Kennedy is elected leader of the Liberal Democrats replacing Paddy Ashdown.
11 October, 1999
Peter Mandelson is back in the Cabinet this time as NI secretary.
9 November, 1999
Chancellor Gordon Brown announces 75p a week increase in state pension furore ensues.
19 November, 1999
The Blairs confirm they are expecting their fourth child.
31 December, 1999
Grand opening of the Millennium Dome is plagued by glitches which leave hundreds of guests queuing in the cold.
9 February, 2000
Alun Michael is ousted as Welsh First Minister in a vote of no confidence. He is replaced by Rhodri Morgan.
20 February, 2000
Frank Dobson wins selection as Labours official London mayoral candidate with 51.25 of vote.
6 March, 2000
Ken Livingstone announces intention to stand as an independent candidate for London Mayor.
4 May, 2000
Livingstone wins inaugural London Mayor election.
20 May, 2000
Leo Blair arrives the first child born to a sitting PM for more than 150 years.
Leo is the Blairs' fourth child and was named after Mr Blair's father. Tony and Cherie's other children are Euan Kathryn and Nicky.
7 June, 2000
Blair is heckled and slow handclapped as he delivers a speech to the Womens Institute.
After what Mr Blair had hoped would be a speech to win back the political initiative from the Tories he received poor applause and drew criticism from some audience members who said his speech was too overtly political. Some women began to heckle and slow clap the PM before the WI chairman appealed to them to stop.
29 June, 2000
Blair announces that police will be able to charge on the spot fines for public drunkenness.
5 July, 2000
PMs eldest son Euan reprimanded by police for being drunk and incapable in a postexams celebration.
Euan was found drunk and vomiting in Leicester Square and was taken to a police station. The incident came just a few days after Tony Blair suggested on the spot fines for drunkenness. Mr Blair reacted the next day saying being a father was sometimes more difficult than being PM.
Fuel blockades bring British roads to a virtual standstill as petrol pumps run dry.
4 September, 2000
Mo Mowlam announces she will retire from Parliament at the next general election.
11 October, 2000
Scotlands First Minister Donald Dewar dies from a brain haemorrhage.
24 January, 2001
Peter Mandelson resigns over Hinduja passports affair. He is later cleared of wrongdoing.
20 February, 2001
Foot and mouth outbreak begins it leads to the general election being postponed by a month.
16 May, 2001
John Prescott punches an eggthrowing protester while campaigning in Rhyl.
7 June, 2001
General election Labour win an historic second term with a majority of 165.
8 June, 2001
Cabinet reshuffle David Blunkett moves to Home Office and Jack Straw to Foreign Office.
16 July, 2001
More than 100 backbenchers rebel over a bid to remove two independentlyminded MPs as chairmen of two committees
11 September, 2001
Blair speaks of his shock at the terrorist attacks on the US and pledges Britain will stand shoulder to shoulder with America.
Mr Blair cancelled his planned speech to the TUC conference and instead made a sombre statement. His voice cracking with emotion he said "I'm afraid we can only imagine the terror and the carnage there and the many many innocent people that will have lost their lives." He offered the country's condolences to the US and promised "whatever help" necessary to track down the perpetrators. B Ulsakjdf U B
13 September, 2001
Iain Duncan Smith beats Ken Clarke to replace William Hague as Tory leader.
7 October, 2001
UK takes part in US attack on Afghanistan as George W Bushs war on terror begins.
1 January, 2002
Euro becomes the main currency across Europe with the UK one of the few countries to remain outside it.
3 February, 2002
Blair makes speech to party conference lambasting wreckers who stand in the way of public service reforms.
Trades union members were angered by Mr Blair's speech seeing it as aimed at them. TUC general secretary John Monks described as "juvenile" the PM's comments about "wreckers and reformers". Meanwhile commentators speculated it may be Mr Blair's preamble to tax increases.
28 May, 2002
Transport Secretary Stephen Byers resigns after a longrunning row over good day to bury bad news email sent by his adviser.
The scandal revolved around Mr Byers' special adviser or spin doctor Jo Moore who sent an email on 911 suggesting that news from the department was unlikely to receive the usual press scrutiny on that day. Mr Byers was not involved in that email but became embroiled in a wider row about the influence of nonaccountable special advisers.
29 May, 2002
Mini reshuffle Paul Boateng becomes Britains first black cabinet minister.
24 September, 2002
Government publishes its dossier on Iraqs WMDs. In an emergency debate 54 Labour MPs rebel.
23 October, 2002
Estelle Morris resigns as education secretary saying she feels she is not up to the job.
10 December, 2002
Cherie Blair apologises for embarrassment caused by buying flats with the help of convicted fraudster Peter Foster.
15 February, 2003
An estimated million people march through London to protest against war with Iraq.
17 March, 2003
Robin Cook quits as leader of the Commons because of his opposition to attacking Iraq.
18 March, 2003
139 Labour MPs vote against governments decision to go to war with Iraq.
20 March, 2003
War on Iraq begins with a strike on a target which the US say they believe is Saddam Hussein it turns out not to be.
US President George W Bush launched war on Baghdad vowing to "disarm Iraq and to free its people". Mr Bush delivered a live television address shortly after explosions rocked the capital at 0534 local time 0234 GMT signalling the start of the USled campaign to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
12 May, 2003
Clare Short quits over Iraq saying Tony Blair had broken promises over the countrys future.
29 May, 2003
On the Today programme Andrew Gilligan reports allegations that the government enhanced the dossier on Iraqs WMD.
9 June, 2003
British government again states the UK economy is not ready to join the Euro.
12 June, 2003
Alan Milburn quits as Health Secretary to spend more time with his family.
Alan Milburn's decision took Parliament by complete surprise. Mr Milburn said he had decided to leave the government because the demands of the job conflicted with having a young family in the north east. Speculation had been rife that there would be changes in the cabinet but noone predicted such a key moderniser would leave the government.
9 July, 2003
MoD names weapons expert Dr David Kelly as the source for Andrew Gilligans sexed up dossier report.
17 July, 2003
Blair addresses US Congress.
18 July, 2003
Government weapons expert Dr David Kelly is found dead in woods near his home.
Dr Kelly apparently committed suicide days after giving evidence to MPs about the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction the main plank of the government's case for war. He was suspected of being the source for a BBC story which alleged the dossier was "sexed up". The day after Dr Kelly's death Mr Blair launched an inquiry into the tragedy to be headed by Lord Hutton.
2 August, 2003
Blair becomes longest continuously serving Labour PM.
18 September, 2003
Labour loses the Brent East byelection to the Lib Dems.
29 September, 2003
Gordon Brown delivers tubthumping speech to party conference speculation over BlairBrown pact resurfaces.
Nick Assinder assesses Brown's speech
19 October, 2003
Blair suffers irregular heartbeat and spends a few hours in hospital.
The prime minister said doctors had told him there was nothing to worry about and he did not have a week heart. Nevertheless the incident sparked speculation over his health against a background of continuing theories about if and when he would step down as PM.
6 November, 2003
Michael Howard becomes Tory party leader after he is unopposed in leadership election.
Former home secretary Michael Howard was "crowned" Tory leader after no contenders threw their hats in the ring. The leadership election came after Iain Duncan Smith was ousted a week earlier in a confidence vote.
14 December, 2003
US forces capture Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole near Tikrit. Blair says the capture removes the shadow hanging over Iraq.
Tony Blair said the capture of Saddam Hussein had given the Iraqi people an opportunity to unite and move forward by showing it was futile to try to return him to power. It would now be down to the Iraqi people to decide Saddam's fate he said. Mr Blair later stressed that he believed Saddam should be tried and jailed rather than executed.
27 January, 2004
The government narrowly wins a vote on topup fees an issue on which Tony Blair had staked his authority
Seventytwo Labour MPs rebelled and the government won by just five votes
28 January, 2004
Lord Huttons report absolves government of almost any blame in Kelly affair and points finger at BBC reporting.
Key allegations about the government's Iraq dossier reported by the BBC's Andrew Gilligan were "unfounded" and the BBC's editorial procedures were "defective" Lord Hutton said. He concluded that there was no underhand government strategy to name Dr Kelly. The report caused massive upheaval at the BBC with the resignations of Chairman Gavyn Davies and Director General Greg Dyke.
2 February, 2004
Ken Livingstone ratified as Labour candidate for London mayor.
22 February, 2004
In a press interview Blair insists he will stand for a third term and denies rumours he will stand down.
26 February, 2004
Speaking on Today Clare Short alleges UN Secretary General Kofi Annans office was bugged by MI6.
25 March, 2004
Blair holds talks with Libyan leader Gaddafi. The rapprochement comes after Libya renounced WMD in December.
Blair and Gaddafi shook hands at the start of the historic talks in Tripoli which the UK prime minister hailed as hopefully a "new relationship". People should not forget the past they should move beyond it Mr Blair said. Relations have been difficult between the two countries because of the killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984 and the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
20 April, 2004
Blair confirms there will be a referendum on the EU constitution a Uturn on his previous position.
For months the prime minister had denied the need for a vote but with clamour over Europe issues growing louder he said that he would "let the people have a final say". Tory leader Michael Howard asked him "Who will ever trust you again"
10 June, 2004
At local council elections Labour lose over 450 seats but Ken Livingstone is reelected as London Mayor.
14 July, 2004
Butler report finds that some intelligence on Iraqs WMDs had turned out to be unreliable but Blair had acted in good faith.
21 July, 2004
Blair marks his 10 years as Labour leader.
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BLAIR'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY
Nick Assinder on how Tony Blair transformed the Labour Party over the past 10 years
Blair marks decade as leader
Grilling over intelligence flaws
A look back at how Tony Blair's young family has had to live with the headlines
THOSE WERE THE YEARS
In quotes: Blair's own words
Pictures of the decade
Timeline: All the key events
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
Profile: Tony Blair
Blair the war leader
Relations with the unions
Key Blair moments
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
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Week at a Glance
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