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Tony Blair Hangs on as Labour Party Is Pummeled

The British Labour Party tried to stop a damaging feud over its leadership Wednesday as an opinion poll showed the party's support falling to a 14-year low.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, in office for nine years, has been under pressure from members of his own party to name a date to hand over the office to his likely successor, finance minister Gordon Brown. The Labour Party took a severe beating in local council elections last week.

On Tuesday, Blair again refused to set a date for his departure but promised to give his successor ample time to settle in before the next national election, due by 2010.

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Rob Gifford
Rob Gifford is the NPR foreign correspondent based in Shanghai.