Blair era ends, Brown takes over in Britain

LONDON, June 27, 2007 (AFP) – Prime Minister Tony Blair resigned Wednesday, after a decade in power, handing over power to party rival Gordon Brown who has vowed to impose his own style on Britain. “I spoke to him about this on Friday night when he told me that he was going to take it … He thinks, and I believe he is right, that if you have hands-on, persistent engagement you can make real progress,” Ahern told RTE radio. Lawmakers gave Blair a standing ovation at an emotional last question-and-answer session in the House of Commons, before he declared “that is that. The end” and went to Buckingham Palace and tendered his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.

Blair, who has faced widespread domestic criticism over the Iraq war, fuelled speculation that he will take on a role as peace envoy for the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, saying a two-state solution is the only way to end the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“I believe it is possible to do that but it will require a huge intensity of focus and work,” added Blair, who had finance minister Brown sat at his side.

Brown followed Blair to Buckingham Palace in a separate motorcade.

During his last session with lawm