Tony Blair: 10 years in power

Key dates in Tony Blair's 10 years as the British prime minister.

    Key dates in Tony Blair's 10 years as the British prime minister

    1997

    May 2: The Labour party wins the general election and gains a majority in the House of Commons with 179 seats. At 43, Blair becomes the youngest British prime minister since 1812.

    May 6: Britain's central bank, the Bank of England, is given power to set interest rates.

    August 31: Blair takes the lead after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, calling her "the people's princess".

    1998

    April 10:
    The Good Friday peace accord is signed, allowing power-sharing between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and the release of militants from prison.

    1999

    March 24: Britain joins Nato air strikes against Serbia in Kosovo.

    May 26: A devolved Welsh assembly opens in Cardiff.

    July 9: The Scottish parliament sits in Edinburgh for the first time since 1707.

    2000

    The prime minister's wife gave
    birth to a son, Leo,  in 2000
    May 20: Blair becomes the first British prime minister for more than 150 years to become a father in office when his wife, Cherie Booth, gives birth to their fourth child, Leo.

    2001

    June 8:
    Labour wins a second term with a majority of 167.

    September 11: After al-Qaeda attacks on the US, Blair gives his total support to George Bush, the US president.

    October 7: British troops take part in US-led, Nato-backed attacks against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    2002

    October 14: London resumes direct control of Northern Ireland after allegations of a republican spy-ring operating in the Belfast assembly.

    2003

    February 16: An estimated one million people protest in London against war in Iraq in the biggest march in British history.

    March 18: Parliament backs sending British troops to Iraq.

    March 19: US-led invasion of Iraq begins.

    Blair meets British troops in Basra, Iraq [AFP]


    May 26: The BBC says the British government exaggerated intelligence claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the basis for going to war.

    July 17: British weapons expert David Kelly, the source for the BBC report, commits suicide.

    2004

    January 28: Government-commissioned inquiry exonerates Blair administration over blame for Kelly's death and severely criticises the BBC.

    October 1: Blair says the 2005 general election will be his last, but he intends to serve a full third term.

    2005

    May 5: Labour wins a third term with a much-reduced majority of 66.

    July 6: London wins the 2012 Olympic Games.

    July 7: Fifty-six people are killed and more than 700 injured when four suicide bombers blow themselves up on the London public transport system.

    2006

    March 21:
    Police begin the "cash for honours" inquiry into whether political parties accepted loans from wealthy donors in return for places in the unelected upper House of Lords.

    September 7: Blair is forced into saying he will step down within a year after Labour opposition to his stance over Israel's bombing of Lebanon.

    Gordon Brown, right, will succeed
    Blair as prime minister [AP]
    December 14: Blair is questioned by police over "cash for honours", making him the first serving prime minister to be questioned as part of a criminal inquiry.

    2007

    March 29: Parliament applauds Blair for deal to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

    May 1: Blair says ally-turned-foe chancellor Gordon Brown would make a "great prime minister," and confirms he will clarify his departure plans in coming days.

    May 10: Blair to announce date he will stand down as Labour party leader and prime minister.

    May 19: Blair pays his last visit to iraq as prime minister.

    June 20: Al Jazeera reports exclusively that Blair is likely to become the Middle east Quartet's new envoy after he steps down.

    June 27: Blair's last day as prime minister as he hands over to Gordon Brown.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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