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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 May 2006, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Full text: Draft MPs' letter
Here is the full text of a draft letter, reported to be circulating among Labour MPs, calling for Tony Blair to announce a timetable for his departure from Number 10:

Dear Colleagues,

As members of the Labour Party, we wish to celebrate and acknowledge the historic achievements secured by our government since its election nine years ago. Record levels of investment in our public services, a living wage for all, an unprecedented period of economic stability; radical reform and devolution of our national institutions; these all serve as fitting testament to the faith placed in our Party by the British people.

It is clear that this record is now being overshadowed by the continuing and debilitating speculation over the future leadership and direction of our Party, speculation which is directly impacting on our ability to connect with both our traditional supporters, and those who joined us from the first time in 1997.

Every Labour member believes that it is in the best interest of our Party and our Country that the transition at the head of the party announced by the prime minister on 1 October 2004, should be conducted in a dignified, orderly and efficient manner.

We also believe that it is essential that this transition should be accompanied by a period of consultation, discussion and reflection that will enable our party not just to select a new Leader, but renew and revitalise itself in the security of Office, rather than as has happened in the past, the wilderness of Opposition.

We further believe that such a transition must be conducted within a time frame that enables the Party to fully prepare for the challenges placed by a Conservative Opposition that is clearly intent on replacing ruthlessness with opportunism, and presenting a vacuum in policy as a virtuous process of political renewal.

A pre-requisite of any orderly democratic change is a clear timetable and transparent procedures. Unfortunately both are still absent from the process instigated by the Prime Minister 19 months ago.

We therefore ask the NEC, in consultation with the Prime Minister, to lay out, no later than the end of the current Parliamentary session, a clear timetable and procedure for the selection of a new Labour Party Leader.

We strongly believe that such a statement will ensure the continuing success of the Labour government, and renew the link between our party and the British people.




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