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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
England reacts to PM's departure
BBC News website journalists have been out on the streets of England getting people's views on Tony Blair's announcement that he plans to quit. Here is a selection of their comments.


Hilary Powell, Droitwich, Worcestershire:

"Devolution has been good, but he's made a terrible mess of education and the health service is in dire straits. It was his big thing - education, education, education - and it's come back to haunt him.

"I think it's time he went - the country needs a change - although I'm not suggesting the others coming up are going to be much better."

Aiman Alqazi
Aiman Alqazi says Blair will be remembered for Iraq

Aiman Alqazi, 20, Birmingham:

"I like him, but I'm pleased he's going. I'll remember him for Iraq - he shouldn't have gone there. I'm Arab and when you think that every day, 20 or 30 Arabs are dying there, it was the wrong move and very unfair."


Adrian Haley, 37, police officer, Southampton:

"In some respects I'm not that sad to see him go. Ever since he's been in power, police budgets have been undercut and we've had to battle with the government to get pay rises.

"The Labour government was initially full of promises, but a lot of them seem to have fallen by the wayside."

Gabriel Oti, 37, unemployed, Tunbridge Wells:

"I'm sad to see him leave because I think he did a brilliant job. I hope Gordon Brown will do as well, but I know David Cameron is a serious contender. I was happy with the overwhelming power Labour gained under Tony Blair, there was no competition. Unfortunately though, people will always come back to the effects of what's happened in Iraq."

"He seemed quite friendly, that people could actually talk to him. I saw him as being pleasant and approachable."

Pat Barham
Pat Barham believes he's done a good job, but it's time for a change

Pat Barham, 83, retired, Tunbridge Wells:

"I think he's done a good job, but it's definitely time for a change. Iraq will always stand over him, the poor chap, he meant well. Saddam Hussein was a horrible man, but I think it was really none of our business.

"The economy's been good over the past 10 years. I am personally better off, but whether that's due to Tony Blair or Gordon Brown, I don't know."


Linda Leung, 65, retired, West Hampstead:

"I am delighted that he is stepping down. He is a dangerous man who lied to us very badly. I am referring mainly to Iraq but I think that he is extremely bad for politics in general. He came with such big words, whiter than white, but did not deliver."

Nana Gecaga
Nana Gecaga says she's sorry to see Blair go

Nana Gecaga, 29, director, central London:

"I think Tony Blair has done a lot of good things for the government. He's tried to handle difficult situations, such as the war in Iraq. He tried to take on the nation and did what he felt to do but he did take a step back later on.

"I also admire him and his family for being involved in charity work, corporate responsibilities, and for working on things outside of the country too."

Nomi Kakoty, 30, PR consultant, Barons Court, west London:

"I'm quite pleased he's going. When he first came into power he was a breath of fresh air. But I don't agree with his Iraq decision and bringing the country down. He is pretty much a 'yes' man, which wasn't good.

"He is an intelligent man but there was bad management during his term as leader. However on the other hand he has had a lot to deal with, such as personal affairs, his Cabinet, quite a lot really. Also I don't agree with his foreign policies."


George Duffy, 65, retired miner, Trimdon Village:

"I think he's done one hell of a job as PM, despite having a difficult time. You can't please everybody all of the time, but he's done wonders for elderly people, especially in bringing in the winter fuel allowance."

Neil Walker
Neil Walker says the PM should have alleviated prison overcrowding

Neil Walker, 25, prison officer, Fishburn:

"I think he's been a bad PM. It's disgraceful what he's done in Iraq, our boys shouldn't be dying out there.

"And I don't like the way he's letting prisoners out early. If prisons are full and new ones are needed, how hard is it to build them?"


Daniel Chilvers, 23, nightclub promoter, Nottingham:

"I think that as soon as he leaves power, nothing will change and the next person won't make any difference either."

"I think he'll be remembered for being spineless."

Tristan Dawson, 32, Big Issue seller, Nottingham:

"I don't think it's right handing straight over to Gordon Brown, I reckon the people should have the right to vote in who they want in."


Brett Allen
Brett Allen says Blair improved life for the homosexual community

Brett Allen, Rugeley:

"I am sorry that he is leaving as he has done some good for some minority groups within the UK which I feel the conservative government never did, Section 28 being the big one. The conservatives brought that in and restricted the homosexual community in what they could or could not do.

"It nice to see that that changes and that these people can express themselves and do what they want to do."

Lee Turner, Middleton:

"I am not sorry that he is leaving. I think politics is run by a bunch of kids who are trying to run the world and they're not making a good job of it."


Simon Smiechowski, 22, Northam, Southampton:

"He helped countries in Eastern Europe to get into the EU. In my country at least (Poland), he was seen as a fairly Euro-friendly prime minister, half-and-half I suppose."

Christine and Philip Syms
Christine and Philip Syms say Blair "broke up" the United Kingdom

Philip Syms, 77, retired, Bournemouth:

"I think he will also potentially be remembered for breaking up the United Kingdom, after it existing for 300 years.

Christine Syms, 70, retired, Bournemouth:

"My impression of him was never great. I could not trust him because he made statements that he never followed up."


Roxanne Roberts-Jones
Roxanne Roberts-Jones says the PM has "tried his hardest"

Roxanne Roberts-Jones, 17, student, Plymouth:

"I think the vast majority of people appreciate him. I quite like him - although I don't always agree with his point of view I do think he's done well. The NHS has problems but he's still tried his hardest and you're never going to please everyone."

Shirley Peck, 53, sales assistant, Plymouth:

"A lot has been improved since he's been prime minister but unfortunately Iraq was the nail in the coffin and he'll never get over that."


Chris Rothwell, 25, jazz student, Leeds:

"He tried his best, he tried to be a nice guy but nice guy policies don't work. When you think of the billions gone on the NHS - we don't seem to have seen any of it."

Tim Whardle, 46, civil servant, Leeds:

"It is a damn fine thing that he is leaving, I think what he will be remembered for is that he can spin things very well.

"I don't think he has done an awful lot for the country, all he has done is lead us into a terrible war."

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