Tony Blair to resign as prime minister

Tony Blair today announced he is to resign as prime minister after 10 years in office.

He will continue as prime minister and lead the Labour party until 27 June to allow the party to elect another leader – expected to be the current chancellor Gordon Brown.

He made the announcement in a speech in his Sedgefield constituency,


What the leaders in the sector think Blair achieved for social care

“Our optimism about ending child poverty when Tony Blair came to power is ebbing away” – Clare Tickell, chief executive NCH 


“Blair’s policies have served to push the needs of children damaged by their families and the state even further to the margins” – Mary Walsh, chief executive SACCS


“My real worry is that we will look back on these as the halcyon days” – John Coughlan, president, Association of Directors of Children’s Services


“It may be fashionable to damn the decade, but many older people have benefited from the new care standards and inspection regime” – Paul Cann, director of policy and research, Help the Aged

“Good intentions brought new resources, but sadly the centrism and complexity of Blairite policy has often stifled local progress” – Andrew McCulloch, chief executive, Mental Health Foundation


“He started full of promise, but progress was slow. Valuing People is good but we want more” – Shaun Webster, service user


“We’ve seen phenomenal shifts in the way social care is planned for people with learning disabilities and their families” – Jo Williams, chief executive, Mencap

“Social care under Blair’s leadership has continued to be a ‘Cinderella’ service” – Andrea Rowe, chief executive, Skills for Care

“It’s harder to get services now. I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and treatment has been slow because of ageism in the NHS” – Joan Scott, service user

“The personalisation agenda has been most important – putting people at the centre of what we do in health and social care” – Anne Williams, president ADASS

“I believe that Tony Blair will come to be recognised as a great prime minister” – Martin Narey, chief executive, Barnardo’s

“Since 1997, social care has been talked about in a wholly new way: it’s on the agenda” – Lynne berry, chief executive, GSCC

“There is no question about the aspiration of the Blair government. But if it was so good, why do so many of us feel so bad?” – Nick Johnson, chief executive, Social Care Association


What you think – comments from our Discussion Forum about what Tony Blair has achieved for social care

“I think Tony Blair has actually done quite well in a few areas. People seem to have forgotten what it was like pre-1997. Good things he has done include: introducing the minimum wage, tax credits, Sure Start, improved recognition rights for trade unions, much progress tackling homelessness, low unemployment and a strong economy.” – Paula

“A target driven service whereby managers play the number crunching game, massaging figures and alienating social workers from the service users.” – Dot Crook

“Yet again Tony Blair, his education secretary Alan Johnson and the Labour party have refused to address the real issue as to why there are so many absent fathers which has much more to do with lack of parity in family law than anything else. To merely claim that research suggests that, especially in cases where parents are separated, the father either does not attend parents evenings or ends up arguing with his former partner, is a smoke screen behind which the Labour party seeks to hide from facing the true reality that it and it alone has been the main destabilizing force behind the breakdown of the traditional family unit thus resulting in a generation of disenfranchised children this at the rate of one hundred per day loosing contact since Labour took office in 1997.” – Mike Ellis

“I was just wondering how far levels of political activism among social workers had changed during the New Labour era. Has its progressive elements – Sure Start, the minimum wage, some redistribution and public service investment – kept people just content enough not to man the barricades over its reactionary policies on asylum, civil liberties and public service reform? Are people now pretty much resigned to a politics that veers between the centre and centre-right, is always pro-business and places responsibilities on the “have nots” and showers the “haves with rights?” – Samuel

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