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British Cabinet Minister Says Blair to Resign Within One Year


A senior member of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet says Mr. Blair plans to resign within a year.

Environment Secretary David Miliband told British radio Tuesday that he was simply reflecting what he calls the "conventional wisdom" about Mr. Blair's plans.

A Blair spokesman said Tuesday that the prime minister wants to get on with what the government was elected to do.

The spokesman also had no comment on a memo signed by 17 Labor Party members of parliament that called on Mr. Blair to quit. He called the letter a party matter.

Prime Minister Blair, whose popularity slipped badly this year, has already said he will not run for a fourth term. Many political observers believe he will leave office before the next scheduled general election in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror newspaper Tuesday printed excerpts of what it calls a leaked memo in which Blair advisers plan a extravagant Blair farewell tour, including a tour of British cities and television appearances. The note says the crowds should be left wanting more. A Blair spokesman said Downing Street has not seen the memo.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.