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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
In full: MPs' call for Blair to go
This is the full text of the letter to Tony Blair from a number of normally loyal Labour MPs, elected in 2001, which reignited calls for him to quit:

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

Dear Tony

We are writing this private letter as a group of MPs first elected in 2001, all of whom have been involved in the party and the wider Labour movement for a long time.

We campaigned for your election as leader and fought alongside you to modernise the party under Neil Kinnock, John Smith and yourself.

We believe that you have been an exceptional Labour prime minister. The party and the nation owes you an incalculable debt of gratitude.

Your leadership of our government has revolutionised the lives and opportunities of millions of our citizens, combining social justice with prosperity to an extent which is unprecedented in the history of our country.

Having been with you on this journey for most of the last twenty years, we are proud of what Labour has been able to achieve under your leadership.

We have always believed passionately in the same kind of modern, progressive, electable Labour Party that you do.

The permanent advancement of this kind of dynamic, electorally persuasive Labour party is, and always has been, our project as much as yours. And it remains so.

We can and must win the next general election. To do otherwise would be, unforgivably, to fail in our duty to the party and the country.

This is as true now as it was a decade ago, and if the right choices are made in time, it will be true in another ten years.

Sadly, it is clear to us - as it is to almost the entire party and the entire country - that without an urgent change in the leadership of the party it becomes less likely that we will win that election.

That is the brutal truth. It gives us no pleasure to say it. But it has to be said. And understood.

This is not a plot against you by people who want to reverse or slow down the progress you have led. We are all as determined as you are that nothing should stand in its way.

But we believe that it is impossible for the party and the government to renew itself without renewing its leadership as a matter of urgency.

As utter Labour loyalists and implacable modernisers, we therefore have to ask you to stand aside.

Yours sincerely

Chris Bryant

Signed on behalf of: Chris Bryant (Rhondda), Tom Watson (West Bromwich East), Sion Simon (Birmingham Erdington), David Wright (Telford), Wayne David (Caerphilly), Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr), Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North), Ian Lucas (Wrexham), Hywel Francis (Aberavon), Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside), Kevan Jones (North Durham), Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith), Anne MacKechin (Glasgow North), David Hamilton (Midlothian), Chris Mole (Ipswich).




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