Sir George presses PM to tell the House first of his resignation
19 Apr 2007
(This news item is from the BBC Politics website)

MP wants to know PM's plan first

The PM's role is a matter for the Queen, MPs were told
Commons leader Jack Straw has dismissed Tory MP Sir George Young's demand for Tony Blair to announce his resignation as Prime Minister to MP's first.
Mr Straw said such appointments were a matter for the Queen and "not therefore a matter for this House".

Sir George had said the ministerial code meant government announcements should be made "in the first instance" in the HOuse of Commons.

Mr Blair is expected to give a date for leaving office next month.


Sir George said: "The prime minister has indicated that in the next few weeks he plans to announce his resignation.

"There can be few announcements of greater importance either to government or to Parliament than the resignation of a prime minister."

To laughter, the MP for North West Hampshire added: "Can you give us an assurance that any such statement will be made in the first instance to the House and that the prime minister will be then invited to answer questions as to why he feels he has to go?"

Mr Straw, who is campaign manager for Chancellor Gordon Brown's bid to succeed Mr Blair, replied: "It's a clever idea but I can't satisfy you."

He also said: "The appointment of prime ministers is a matter for Her Majesty - it's under her prerogative powers.

"It is not therefore a matter for this House."

Mr Blair has refused to set an exact departure date, but is expected to quit as party leader within days of the 3 May elections and to continue as prime minister until June.

So far, only backbenchers Michael Meacher and John McDonnell have declared they will run to succeed him.

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