U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered his first ever defeat in the House of Commons after lawmakers rejected his proposal to allow police to hold terrorist suspects without charge for up to 90 days.
The prime minister has said he will serve a full third term and then stand down before the next general Election, due at any time up to May 2010. However the defeat will almost inevitably increase pressure for his departure to come sooner rather than later.
Tony Blair no longer commands. Teflon Tony is dead. He can now only survive as Prime Minister by the consent of Parliament, and his own Labour MPs. Forget all the excuses, the vote yesterday afternoon was a turning point. It was not only Labour’s first defeat in the Commons since 1997, but it was by a huge 31 vote margin. The result is a huge blow not just for Mr Blair’s authority but also for Labour’s credibility as a governing party.