Accessibility links

Tony Blair Meets Parliament For Last Time as British PM


Britain's Tony Blair addressed parliament Wednesday for the last time as prime minister, just hours before he is to deliver his resignation to Queen Elizabeth.

Mr. Blair fielded questions and received accolades from members of the House of Commons. He told lawmakers he was sorry for the deadly peril faced by British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but made no apology for backing the United States in the war on terror.

Northern Ireland's hardline Protestant cleric and lawmaker Ian Paisley praised the outgoing prime minister for his role in brokering peace in Northern Ireland.

Later Wednesday, the queen will ask Finance Minister and new Labor Party chief Gordon Brown to form a government, making him the new prime minister.

In addition to his peace efforts in Northern Ireland, Mr. Blair backed military action against Serbian authorities in Kosovo, and is widely credited for revitalizing Britain's economy.

Mr. Blair leaves office as Britain's longest-serving Labor Party prime minister.

He is expected to be named the special Middle East envoy of the international Quartet on Middle East peace. Quartet officials say a statement will be issued later Wednesday.

Mr. Blair's last full day in office Tuesday included a visit from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who last year signed a bill capping greenhouse gas emissions in the western U.S. state.

The prime minister said environmental protection is a global priority that needs to be tackled at every level. He said the scientific objections to global warming are falling away.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

XS
SM
MD
LG