Blair stresses "I'm not the wobbling sort"

Blair stresses "I'm not the wobbling sort"
Blair stresses "I'm not the wobbling sort"

With mounting violence in Iraq threatening to overshadow the start of Labour's party conference, Tony Blair has stressed his commitment to stand firm in the face of protest.

"I'm not the wobbling sort," the Prime Minister told BBC TV's Breakfast with Frost, denying rumours that he had considered quitting six months ago.

"I'm restless to do more and do better," stressed Mr Blair, in what is being seen as an attempt to win his party back in the face of opinion polls which show that Labour is struggling to retain support.

Mr Blair is keen to refocus attention on Labour's domestic record and revealed in the interview that his party would be unveiling new plans for childcare, pensions and tackling youth unemployment, during the coming conference week.

"We have got a very strong economy. We have got massive investment going into our public services but there is still a massive amount to do," the Prime Minister said.

Nonetheless, with rising bloodshed in Iraq and the uncertain fate of British hostage, Kenneth Bigley, the issue is likely to remain the talk of the conference, where party delegates are thought to be hankering for a debate on Iraq.

Mr Blair, who has expressed public sympathy for Mr Bigley's family, vowed to stand firm on his Iraq policy. "When I hear people say because of the difficulties, we should pull our troops out, my response is that we would surrender to the terrorists", he said.

The Prime Minister also used the interview to refute reports of a split with Gordon Brown, denying any deals about handing the premiership over to the Chancellor, who is said to be disgruntled at Mr Blair's decision to appoint Alan Milburn as Labour's election supremo.