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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Blair exit: Grassroots reaction
Tony Blair is under increasing pressure to give more details of his departure plans or even resign now. Here's what some grass roots Labour activists have made of the furore.

TOMMY WILLIAMS, CHAIRMAN, PAISLEY AND RENFREWSHIRE NORTH LABOUR PARTY

Mr Blair should go now because he has already indicated that's his intention and there is no point hanging around. The sooner he goes the better.

I grudgingly admire what he has achieved and wouldn't hear him criticised, but in terms of his general performance, he has made decisions that I have disagreed with. He should say immediately when he's going.

Certainly for us in Scotland, there is an issue with the Scottish elections next May. For me, the next leader would be Gordon Brown because of his success in turning the economy round.

JOHN BEVAN, CHAIRMAN, MERTHYR TYDFIL AND RHYMNEY LABOUR PARTY

Mr Blair is our leader - he has led us to record victories. It's the first time Labour have ever got this far. What have these so-called minors done for the party? I have got a feeling that they are lining themselves up for the next guy.

We all know Tony Blair will go before the next election - people now want him to go yesterday.

I would like to see an election of the next leader, not the Christening that is supposed to be happening on the day Tony Blair resigns as prime minister. As a member of the Labour party, I should have a right to pick my leader and not the MPs.

Gordon Brown is doing a wonderful job as chancellor and I think that is the place for him. He hasn't got the charisma of Tony Blair.

I think Peter Hain would make a good prime minister. He has been around a while and his international knowledge is fine.

DOUG ROUND, CHAIRMAN, HALESOWEN AND ROWLEY REGIS LABOUR PARTY

I'm quite happy to leave the decision to Tony Blair. We know he's already made the statement that he would go before the next Parliament and give a new prime minister a reasonable period of time.

The uncertainty is being created, in my opinion, unnecessarily. It is quite clear there is a process for electing a new leader of the party so I just think there is a load of fuss being created about something there should not have been all this fuss about.

You just get on with the job we are there to do and that is to govern the country. All this wrangling going on just detracts from all that. There are enough problems that people need to deal with, without talking a load of tripe.

The people writing letters to Mr Blair asking him to stand down are out of order.

PETER KENYON, SECRETARY, THE CITIES OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER LABOUR PARTY

Clearly it's a tragedy for the country, the Labour Party and the prime minister himself.

The extent of the speculation now about the prime minister's intentions is such that it's time for him to take what he's famous for - a tough decision.

I think if Labour is going to have any hope of positioning itself to retain power in Scotland and Wales in the elections next May, it needs a new leader now.

JOHN HARTSHORNE, CHAIRMAN OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE ON BOLTON DISTRICT LABOUR PARTY

A lot of it is media hype. I think the papers are playing it up.

There are certain things a leader has done or would do that I personally would not agree with - I thought Iraq was a terrible mistake.

But it seems to be forgotten that there's been a tremendous amount of good that's been done and once Tony Blair does stand down, regardless of who takes over, he will be sorely missed.

He has served us with great credit overall and so I would leave the decision to Tony Blair to choose when he leaves.

If people think that is up to them, that's not my view. Some people are digging a hole for the Labour Party by persisting with this kind of talk.

ROBERT GIBSON, CHAIRMAN, STOCKTON NORTH LABOUR PARTY

Now that Tony Blair has decided that he will go, I think the sooner it's done the better.

I don't think waiting for a year will do the party any good.

We are still a party of government, we still have opportunities for a fourth term and I think at the end of the day we have to recognise - all of us - that the party is bigger than the individual.

Some of the MPs have behaved disgracefully - some of the newer ones especially who have seen a year or two in Parliament, are probably looking at the perceived resurgence of the Tory party, and are starting to panic about their seats.

They are buzzing about like the proverbial coloured-back-side fly, I'm afraid. I don't like that at all.

SOPHIE LIVINGSTONE, EX-CHAIRWOMAN, BATTERSEA LABOUR PARTY

Really now he's got to set out a timetable for the handover. I think the frenzy is so great now that we cannot really hold it without having some sort of closure on the issue.




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