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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
Labour must rethink web - Blair
Tony Blair looks at a computer on a vist earlier this year
Tony Blair says the internet can help Labour bounce back
Tony Blair has said Labour must rethink its website as it seeks to bounce back from its local election disappointment.

In a letter to new Labour chairman Hazel Blears, the prime minister said "innovative ways of communicating" and "radical thinking" were needed.

He said: "We must move from a mainly passive relationship...to one where supporters interact with us, with local party members and with each other."

The website was the "front door" to Labour for many under-35s, he said.

In the letter outlining what he hopes Ms Blears will achieve as party chairman he says the party must "rethink our web presence".

'Enthusiasm and relish'

He said: "Our website is the face and front door of the party to an increasing number of people, particularly the under 35s, and investment in its quality must reflect that.

"You should produce imaginative proposals for developing the supporters' network and our use of modern communications and IT within the plan for party renewal."

You should work up an ambitious 2010 vision of the party and map how we can migrate to that rapidly from the current party organisation
Tony Blair

The general task for Ms Blears is to take on reinvigorated opposition parties with the same "enthusiasm and relish" used to create New Labour in the 1990s.

Setting out Ms Blears's priorities for the next six months, Mr Blair asked for a long-term vision of the party in 2010 - by which time Chancellor Gordon Brown is widely expected to have taken over from the prime minister.

Mr Blair wrote: "The priority is to identify the way the party needs to be organised in 2009/10 if we are to win a fourth term as a vibrant and refreshed political movement.

"This requires a radical view of the way in which we are organised at every level - from branches to Victoria Street (party headquarters); the ways in which we communicate with members, supporters and voters; and the ways that we campaign.

"You should work up an ambitious 2010 vision of the party and map how we can migrate to that rapidly from the current party organisation."

Mr Blair, whose party lost more than 300 councillors in what was one of its worst set of election results, asked for a detailed plan by the end of June.


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