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June 27, 2007
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Headline News of June 27, 2007
John Prescott, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
Tony Blair travels to Buckingham Palace to hand in his resignation after an emotional send-off from British MPs.
Gordon Brown In pictures
Tony Blair prepares to hand over power to Gordon Brown
Tony Blair waving Why is he going?
Tony Blair is a big Labour success - so why is he off?

BBC news transcript with photos
Transcript in the news of June 27, 2007 (With some misspelled words)  

>> Welcome from me Nick gowing to Westminster in central London. In the next hour, Tony Blair will arrive here to address the house of commons to answer prime minister's questions. About an hour and 20 minutes later, he'll no longer be prime minister. He'll have gone back to number ten downing street, had a small party for friends and colleagues and those who served him and drive the short distance up the mall to Buckingham palace to formerly resign as British prime minister. Then Gordon Brown will make the same trek up the mall and become prime minister. Let's reflect on what a handover of power at number ten means. 468251BD.JPG

>> For many prime ministers the removal vans have turned up rather abruptly at number ten, take, for example, Mrs.. Thatcher, whose downfall came suddenly when cabinet colleagues turn on her. But Tony Blair has engineered the longest handover of power in British history, plenty of time for his successor to hint he wants a change in style.

>> This week marks a new start, a chance to renew, and i say to the people of this country, the government I lead belongs to you. Ly work hard for you -- I will work hard for you. I shall try my utmost. I am ready, ready to serve.

>> Gordon Brown was born in Scotland in 1951, the son of a Presbyterian clergyman. From his student days, it was apparent politics was very much many his blood. Together with Tony Blair he was one of the bright young things of the labour party as it tried pull itself out of the wilderness in the '80s and early '90S. Even after labour won power, Mr.. Brown still had a long way to head. The frustration has often showed in the ten years he's been chancellor of the exchequer under Tony Blair. So in a few years he'll move from number 11 to number 10. He'll hope the British public and the media give him something of a hone moon, but even if they do, he's got some difficult decisions ahead. One of the most important will be how he develops a new phase in foreign policy, which he says he wants. 46825226.JPGHe's facing loud calls to speed up the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

>> I don't know what Gordon will do, but I'll be pleased to hear if he has a definite exit strategy which will give an imrd of troop movements out, whether whether they're going to be withdrawn and removed back to England. Are we then going to hand over to some form of U.N. peacekeeping force? That's what I'd really like the see.

>> But policy details will for now have to wait while the traditions of state take place. Gordon Brown will first pay a visit to Buckingham palace to see the queen and then start to choose a new cabinet. Bbc news, Westminster.

>> Well, we're expecting that Tony Blair rather than leaving if his normer armour-plated daimler might be doing something different this time. It might happen sooner than we're expecting so he can come over the prime minister's questions. Will itself reflect on this day. It is political drama. It doesn't feel that dramatic because we've been expecting it so long. Let's reflect on some of the issues by Gordon Brown taking over for Tony Blair with nicks, respondent, now out there in the cold world yourself, Nick. Watching all this hn this issue of spin, which you've written about in your book "sell tans of spin." Gordon Brown says it will be a very different style of 4682527B.JPG

>> There's no doubt that Gordon Brown recognises the Blair decade has been hat word "spin." It's the belief somehow that Tony Blair as prime minister was putting forward to the country something which wasn't true. Of cows, that was epit minds by the war against iraq and the dossier. Gordon Brown was promising and recognising there this will have to be a new approach. Hetocause of the way announcements have been spun in the media even before dave been announced to the lawmakers. There are a host of changes that Gordon Brown is promising to try to restore trust and credibility in the government.  Arkd on a number of feel-good sessions, even at booke'civil servants have painted him to be. He keeps saying he wants more consultation. What kind of hostage to fortune will that turn out to be? 468252B6.JPG

>> It could be a hostage to fortune because inevitably there will be difficult decisions. I think history shows that w a prime minister takes over after a very popular prime minister, now this happened in the '60s and '70s.

Took over from Howard Wilson. John major took for Margaret taken over from Blair. If they do tend to fe decisions and hav t e general el

could be hostage to fortune but there is brown now saying he wans open up government and to maket accountable.

>> And consult the publiC. Mean the publi whichever party they suprt will say, hang oN. He's mad tis is want. Ha faces after ten years of the player government is that there is a big legacy of distrust on the war, on the whole question of financing political parties, the way until -- in which mr. Blrople.Do that. I think there is a long liste of areas where it's going to be a real cll to deliver. 46825306.JPG

>> Let's talk about that very personal issue, the fact he will walk in within about three hours through the front door of number ten not as the chancellor of the exchequer, not working for Tony Blair, but as we now M.P., That's what he said. What do cow think his feeling will be when he walks in and says, my goodness, I'm now in charge.

>> It will be a tremendous sense of achievement. I've known Gordon Brown struggling in opposition in what for labour were the dark days of Margaret Thatcher and john major years, 18 years when labour were in opposition. It will be a tremendous sense of achievement for Gordon Brown. His great challenge is he's seen e with. The big challenge for him will be can he open up this ment. He's promising to have a government to bring in to his government business people and other political leaders to try and show that he will be running a much more open and engaging it like he's core rald anyone yet. He failed with lord ashdown. 4682534B.JPG

>> We're still getting promises of names to come.

>> Let's pause for a moment. We see the front door of anything happening there. Much of ten has been emptied because Tony Blair's possessis that's going to fall when you're unaware.

>> Their own home is being rebuilt in London.

>> We gather they've had party for their neighbours to reassure evyb

>> Iut it's not quite ready yet.

>> There's number ten. We're expected to see him come out a littl expe hovering above us in Westminster. Let's leave it there for the moment and rhenurs Blair emerge.

>> Nick, thanks very much indeed for that. As nick was saying, he may well emerge earlier than expected, so we'll be signs of Tony Blair on that last journey over to parliament for prime minister's questions. Now, more time is needed to fix legacy of apartheid. That was utah toe mbeki's opening message to south africa's governing A.N.C. Party. The question delegates are asking is whether mbeki himself should be the man who continues to lead them in the future. He's in his last term as president. He could stand down as party leader in dec bbcetoi johannesburg. A bit more on his message? 468253AE.JPG

>> Well, thabo mbeki said at the outset this was not about an issue of leadership, who would or would not lead the african national griew. We know there is a frenzied discussion going on about that leadership succession. In his speech, mr. Mbeki made great deal. 994 when south africa obtained its democracy and high lighted just how much there is still needed to be done in terms of tackling poverty and what had for 350 years prior to that.

>> That said, reading between the lines, more time needed to fix the problems created bay long legacy of apart tiesmd he presumably is still talking about more on ms ratherhal in the.C ee

>> Yes. Although essentially i think this was an appeal by president mbeki today for party unity. At as the national democratic rev looking, which really translates into a better life for. About relationships with other members of the try triymly the alliance would survive. Over the last two or threee wellow with the latest in the business news, and could say no thrills for a no-frills airline. 4682541B.JPG

>> I couhar ex, b ryanair course, the no-frills carrier. Regulators claim a tie up would lead the higher air fares and give the combined control of 80% to and from dublin airport. Also the aggressive retaliation will deter other carriers from entering the market. Ryanair says the decision was politically motivated and designed to oppose the irish government. The trial of conrad black is expected to begin deliberations. After defence and prosecution lawyers provided evidence last week, the judge in chick check should begin advising jurors over the coming hours. Conrad black is accused of looting his own company. The jury was told last week that the prosecuting lawyers had failed to provide a smoking gun to prove that lord black was fite. And china has closed 180 food factories after inspectors found that industrial chemicals were being used in a variety of products, including candy and seafood. The disclosures come just six months after a nationwide crack down on shoddy products. Illegal dyes and industrial wax were being used to make candy, pickles and seafood. Chinese-made toothpaste has been rejected by several countries. Chinese-produced wheat dpliewten has been blamed for dog and cat deaths in north america. On that gastronomic note... 4682548A.JPG

>> What a ghastly story.

>> The expression on your face said it all.

>> Now to iran because motorists have been reacting furiously to the sudden introduction of petrol rationing. Several petrol stations are reported to have been attacked in tehran itself. Motorists are now restricted to three litres a day of petrol under the measure thatam at mid-might. Arrison. Idnight and scef chaos at petrol stations all motorists trt fillphatoweds a day. It's a pitifulot in aity as large asran withr qss, already s selling can o the streets. What ups was the sune just a few hours' warning for such a drastic move.

>> ( Translated ): There's no management in this country, what n proy, thiS. This isn't a way to do iT. 468254D6.JPG

>> ( Translated ): They should think about the people. We can't have it like thiS. If it's going to be like this, it isn't going to worK.

>> It's a risky step to ration petrol in an oil-rich country like iran where people think cheap fuel is their birthright. The rising cost of living is already cutt sdowning

seems toetting in the car.

Gt belT. Nick, oou.

>> T's Blair making his our-pl vehicle down downing street, across the speciec traps which is progressively been put in in recent years. A journey of barely 400 metres turning right into whitehall. The mod in front of him as he turns right. This time unusu whitehall has been cleared. Nick jones, he is not walking, as some thought he might do for this last trip to the calls for prime minister's questions. There you can see him turning in a st scotland yard, and into the palace of Westminster, a different way. 46825522.JPG

>> That's right. A lot of underground corridors which enable him to walk into the house of commons chamber. These have all been used because of the terroristttth street, the bomb explosions at the house of commons. This's no doubt about it. Security is a big issue today.

>> That big building, the square building, wow can see there, that's port cullis house where a large number of m.P.S have their offices.

>> That's right. It's a new, modert and secretaries. What's so important for Tony Blair today is that this will be we think perhaps his last day in parliament because all the indications are that he'll be going directlhe north of England and announcing his resignation as a member of parliament.

>> What we haven't had here is we haven't seen t itldetting out in port cullis house and walking through as the normal members of parliament would into the lobby.

>> That would be the normal procedure, yes, that he w lko on into the hawmtioN. It's a well-worn route. It's a very secure route. It also means he's not going to have to go past a big encampment in parliament square of peace protesters who built this peace camp which I'm sure they would be only too pleased, that's the protesters, to be making some noise as he enters parliament for the last time.

>> Parliament square is that green square Westminster abbey in the distance and there on the left the palace of Westminster. The house of commons closer to the camera just beyond big ben. Then the house of lords, w big itn about the and there in the top of the picture, the treasury where he has been ruling the roost. 46825597.JPG

>> That's right. The treasury, the finance ministry, which he's been running for the last ten years.

>> That's right. It's going to be a big changeover of power with our finance minister, the chancellor, becoming prime minister.

>> Smdue to begin until 12:00. So he's got 40 minutes before we might actually see him. So this is his final swan song.

>> That's T. O directly behind the speaker's chair. No doubt there will be a his own room, and it's positioned at the back of the speaker's chair. That's where the prime m p there are a lot of farewells he'll be wanting to make to parliamentary officials who have stood him in such good stead. I think it will be a very blaimeer parliament. Dpowsh, who is taking over, was then very much the senior partner of this duo. And there's no doubt as we have helped the young Tony Blair establish himself in parliamenT. 468255E5.JPG

>> What we were hearing there, of course, is what democrasutere we were hearing so e whitehall. There are areas of whitehall under very close close circuit television monitoring. Protesters are allowed to stand on various issues, whether it be the tushes or palestinians. I don't know who they are, but there are others in the square, as welL.

>> The big protest has been an anti-war protest. There have been repeated attempts by authorities to clear parliament square, but they've been thwarted because the courts have said that the peace camp was established before the government decided that it wanted to ban them from meeting in parliament square, so on this occasion, a British judge cited with the protesters and said at least the lead protester had permission to staY. It's become very much a thorn in the fleshause the poste there are a constant reminder to parliamentarians of the anger within the country over the war in freedom of speech. Even with all the security challenges and concerns of the metropolitan police.

>> And there is a great move to ensure it will still be possible for demonstrations, as you ri n circumstances to take place right outside the door of parliament. Sometimes if the past they've got pretty violent.

>> In case you wonder where we're standing, you can se bell tower of the house of lords, and to the right you can

hoping that will protect us from more torrential rain, not asian monsoon, but there are concerns it may get quite difficult later oN. That's after Gordon Brown has been to Buckingham palace and formally been invited by Queen Elizabeth to become the next prime minister a few minutes after Tony Blair has formally resigned. Tony Blair is in the house of commons folabr we'll bring you that drama unfolding as it happens probably in 25b9 minutes from now. -Process has started. Nick, thanks very much indeed for that. Let's catch up on other newS. Palestinian doctors in the gaza strip say nine militants have been killed during incursions by the roomily army. Medical officials say most of the dead were gunned men from the armed wings of islamic jihad and hamas. Family of three, including a nine-year-old boy, were killed when an israeli tank shell hit a building near gaza city.Ththr town of khan younis in southern gaza. The action has been described as the biggest raid into the territory since hamas took 46825687.JPGcontrol two weeks ago. Joining me from jerusalem, bethany bell. What are the israeliing saying for themselves about this?

>> Well, israel in terms of the incident on the house, they say they haven't confirmed that. They say they only know of one incident involving a tank shell in their operations in gaza today. That is where a palestinian gunman was killed. As we've heard from palestinian doctors, they're saying that three civilians were kid, including one nine-year-old boy. Now, israel's tanks and forces have been operating in gaza in the two weeks since hamas seized control there, but certainly i think we can say that this is the largest number of palestinian casualties if one day resulting from exchanges of fire with israeli forces. 468256BB.JPG

>> Certainly seems that way. Can they account for it? Can you account for why this step up, if you like, in incursions?

>> Well, what's been happening over the last 24 hours or so, there have been five or so crudely made missiles fired towards israel from the gaza strip. Also this may bE... Israel has said, the army today, that these aren't normal operations. They're looking for militantsious and they're trying to stop the rocket fire.

>> Bethany in jerusalem, thanks very much indeed for bringing us the latesT. We're of course bringing you plenty on Tony Blair and his departure. It starreddeD. Nick Gowing is on college green.

>> Tony Blair left number ten, not for the last time, but for the last time as prime minister heading for the palace of Westminster for prime minister's questi a -- political correspondent, very much an authority on these issueS. We seeon reception for his staff and those who have worked closely with him. We have to assume that most of number ten is virtually empty.Ly yes. The living quarters and much of the office space will have been cleared so the new prime minister can bring in all of his documents. The handover, though, is being dealt with in a very civilised way. If a British prime minister is kicked out at a general election, it can be uncomfortable because the 4682571C.JPGremoval vans literally arrive there in the small hours, and the furniture has to go there and then, but this has been handled in a very british civi>> These things are, but there have only been four prime ministers in recent memory who have actually left government in it's not by any means the usual way. Of course, Margaret Thatcher was literally kicked out if the sense she went out against her will.

>> By the party.

>> By the party, by her fellow lawmakers kicked her out. Of course, the other example was harold wilson. He handed over power, a labour prime ministeR...

>> He was very ill, beginning to get alzheimer'S.

>> And the same with mcmillan. These are instances where prime ministers have handed over power to other prime ministers. Yes, it's not som very important part of the british constitution in the sense that we elect the party, not a prime minister. 46825757.JPG

>> All right. Nick, for the moment, there you can see there sT. James park and the journeyh be mk an hour and a half to see Queen Elizabeth formally to resign. At the moment he's saying good-bye a inside the house of calls in Westminster. Stay with us. We'll have the drama in about 20 minute <


* Because production of these transcripts depend on a variety of factors, there are occasional spelling errors.

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