Blair urges Labour to hold firm

Tony Blair tells Labour activists to concentrate on policies rather than storm of controversy
Tony Blair tells Labour activists to concentrate on policies rather than storm of controversy

Tony Blair has today called on Labour supporters to remain calm and ride out the "storm" of the loans-for-peerages affair.

The embattled prime minister told his party's national policy forum in London that the next general election would not be lost on current controversies but rather won on the strength of Labour policies.

Mr Blair was speaking a day after vowing to continue in his premiership despite growing concern over the second arrest of Lord Levy in connection with the cash-for-honours scandal.

The prime minister, who was himself interviewed by police as a witness, said today that he was accustomed to the "periodic storms" of politics, although he insisted that he was not underestimating the damage it was doing to his and the party's reputation.
"It can be hard to stay calm as it rages, but however buffeted, it should not change our course or our confidence," he said.


"I have complete confidence in what we have achieved in the last ten years and what we can achieve in the next."

Mr Blair also urged party activists to accept his legacy reform packages, adding: "The fourth election will not be decided by current events.

"It will be about whether we have the dynamism, energy, vision and, above all, clear, well-thought-out policies for Britain's future.

"It will be about who understands the modern world best and who can change it for the better. It will be about things that endure, not controversies that pass."

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