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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Prime minister's questions
Sketch
By Nick Assinder
BBC News Online Political Correspondent

A decade into the job and Tony Blair looks a very different man.

Leaders look towards the summer break
Unfortunately for some Labour backbenchers, the man he looks like is not Gordon Brown.

And if his 10th anniversary question time is anything to go by, it is not going to be Mr Brown for some time to come.

Mr Blair's backbenchers even appeared eager to push him on into the next decade of leadership by offering him a chorus of "more" when he got to his feet.

No signs there that they were about to kick him into touch.

And no signs that he is about to fall on his sword, despite persistent Commons rumours to the contrary.

Tory territory

In the face of all his problems - and they are many - Tony Blair looks as determined as ever to go on into his 11th year and beyond.

He had escaped virtually unscathed from his latest Iraq clash with Michael Howard the day before and managed another score draw during his weekly clash.

Blair was greeted with cheers
Mr Howard chose to focus on the once unassailable Tory territory of law and order.

The two men exchanged statistics to little result other than to give an insight into how the general election campaign is going to run.

And they probably both believed they had done what they set out to do and rubbished the other's policies and record.

Plainly barmy

Charles Kennedy, meanwhile, chose not to indulge in too much of the party political knockabout and instead focused on the horror unfolding in Sudan.

After one of his best performances the previous day during the Iraq debate, he hit on an issue that he thinks might strike a real chord amongst voters.

Michael Howard
Howard suffered a setback the previous day
But, as MPs started winding down to the holiday season, this was a time for reflecting on their leaders' relative standing.

Most now believe it is a near certainty Mr Blair will take Labour into the next general election in a year's time.

Mr Howard looks equally safe even though the first shadows have been cast over his performance.

And the Liberal Democrats would be plainly barmy to dump the man who has led them to the unprecedented position they now hold both in the Commons and local councils.

There is still a government reshuffle to come (probably) and a possible controversy over who is made our man in Brussels - with Peter Mandelson's name still doing the rounds, to the astonishment of some.

But on today's showing it looks like we are set fair for the seaside without much further ado.




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