May 10, 2007
After more than a decade in power, it's the beginning of the end for Prime Minister Tony Blair.
"On the 27th of June, I will tender my resignation from the office of Prime Minister to the Queen."
He'll actually leave office when his successor is chosen. Heavily favored to take over is finance minister Gordon Brown.
Britain's economy has boomed under Blair's leadership. He helped broker peace in Northern Ireland, and while much of his resignation speech was a victory lap, at its heart was foreign policy and his unflinching support of the U.S. after 9-11 and ultimately, his controversial decision to follow America into a deeply unpopular war in Iraq.
"Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right," said Blair.
As for Blair's future, he'll remain a member of parliament here until
a better offer comes up, and his people have been hinting at a possible
partnership with old friend President Clinton.
"I think Clinton and Blair working together, two great world statesmen, good gracious, they'd be a force to be reckoned with," said John Burton, Blair's political agent.
For now, expect more than a dash of drama before the man the Brits call their 'great communicator' takes his final bow.
"I give my thanks to you the British people for the times I've succeeded and my apologies for the times I've fallen short. Good luck," said Blair.