Tony Blair is likely to stay at Number 10 for at least two more years, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has said.
Mr Clarke wants a leadership election when Mr Blair goes
Mr Clarke said he thinks the Labour leadership election will be "something like summer 2008".
Speaking at a lunch in Westminster, he said he thought Mr Blair's successor should be given about 18 months to prepare for a general election.
But he also said his opinion was not based on any inside knowledge or conversations.
Mr Blair has said he will leave Downing Street before the next election, but has refused to name a date and is signalling he could stay for years yet.
Gordon Brown's succession to the Labour leadership is now widely assumed to be beyond doubt, with many speculating that his 10th budget on Wednesday could be his last.