Brown to Succeed Blair as Labor Chief

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

After ten years as leader of the British government, Tony Blair steps down this week.

He'll be succeeded by Gordon Brown. The Treasury chief takes over today as head of the governing Labor Party and becomes prime minister Wednesday.

The Scotsman first vied with Blair for party leadership in 1994, but was persuaded then to stand aside. In the intervening years, the two have had a sometimes stormy relationship. Britain's Independent on Sunday newspaper reports Blair's government even considered dumping Brown after the last elections in 2005.

The formal transfer of power comes Wednesday when Blair and Brown go to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen.

Brown says he plans to continue many of Blair's policies, including a close relationship with Washington. But he intends to get more of his Cabinet officers from outside government, including business.

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