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T ONY B LAIR. Labour Prime Minster (1997-2007). How Did He Become Prime Minster?. Elected as MP for his constituency in 1983 Blair’s career rapidly escalated after being elected as MP In 1985 Blair was promoted to opposition front bench as a spokesman on Treasury Affairs

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t ony b lair

TONY BLAIR

Labour Prime Minster (1997-2007)

how did he become prime minster
How Did He Become Prime Minster?
  • Elected as MP for his constituency in 1983
  • Blair’s career rapidly escalated after being elected as MP
  • In 1985 Blair was promoted to opposition front bench as a spokesman on Treasury Affairs
  • In 1994 was elected leader of the labour party
  • Elected Prime Minister in 1997
slide3

What Were His Leadership Styles?

  • Maintained an Authoritarian leadership style
  • Was accused of having a dictatorial approach to government
  • Undermined the power of parliament
  • Leadership style seen as “unhealthily, self centered”
what were his major policies
What Were His Major Policies?

After Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour party in 1994 he almost immediately launched a campaign for the modernization of Labour. Moreover, Blair’s colleagues showed support in creating ‘New Labour’.

  • Devolution: as part of New Labour’s idea of constitutional reform, Decentralization was one of their principles in the 1990s. This included having a local government, allowing local people to introduce elected mayors by initiative and referendum. Secondly, the idea of the London government was aimed to introduce an elected mayor and assembly of greater London. Finally, Devolution was a key aspect of Tony Blair’s policies. It was to transfer large amounts of power from Westminster and Whitehall to elected bodies and governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • A promise made my Blair was large investments in Health Care and Education and in 2000, renovation of the NHS was decided which was to include new beds and more staff. Furthermore, regarding education Tony Blair was known to have introduced ‘Citizenship’ lessons in school, which was aimed at enhancing political participation in society.
what were his major policies1
What Were His Major Policies?
  • In 1998 University students began paying tuition fees. In 2004, the Higher Education Bill was passed in parliament, stating students would have to pay 3000 per year from 2006.
  • Foreign Policy: War on Terror: Tony Blair was a large supporter of George W. Bush’s foreign policy as he participated in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq. This is extremely significant as it attracted a widespread of opposition and 139 of Blair’s MPs opposed it. This resulted in Blair facing a lot of criticism in the media, in parliament and throughout the public.
  • A series of major domestic reforms were pushed through such as increase investment in public services especially concerning health, education and transport.
what was his image as a leader
What Was His Image As A Leader?
  • He continued to rule over his party with an iron will, battling to impose his own choice of candidates in the first London mayoral contest and devolved assembly elections and ensuring ministers remained "on message" at all times.
  • Wary of the civil service's ability to deliver his policy goals, he centralised power in Downing Street. He preferred to make decisions with a small band of trusted advisors, rather than through more formal Cabinet procedures, prompting accusations of "cronyism" and claims he was running a presidential style of government.
  • Within weeks of being elected, he delivered a halting, emotionally-charged eulogy to Princess Diana, on the morning of her death.
  • It was a performance which seemed to capture the public mood. He would later insist that the phrase "the people's princess" was his own and not Alastair Campbell's invention, as cynics claimed.
what were his relationship with parliament
What Were His Relationship With Parliament?

One of his first acts as Prime Minister was to replace the then twice-weekly 15-minute sessions of Prime Minster’s Questions held on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a single 30-minute session on Wednesdays. In addition to PMQs, Blair held monthly press conferences at which he fielded questions from journalists and – from 2002 – broke precedent by agreeing to give evidence twice yearly before the most senior Commons select committee, The Liaison Committee. Blair was sometimes perceived as paying insufficient attention both to the views of his own Cabinet colleagues.

what were his relationships with his party
What Were His Relationships With His Party?
  • Blair’s foreign policy caused chaos concerning him in the eyes of fellow MPs and the public due to the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of his own MPs and people throughout the nation heavily opposed his decisions on foreign policy and his strong support of George W. Bush. The invasion on Iraq resulted in a huge amount of trust and faith being lost regarding Blair as a leader.
  • Although Blair was persuaded to carry on by some cabinet ministers, in October 2004 he announced that her would not be carrying on a fourth term in office if he managed to win the election. This caused further criticism for the Prime Minister, leaving him with the name ‘lame duck’.
  • The Final Straw: there were many resignations of Junior Ministers after declaring it to be damaging to the party image due to failure of announcing a departure date. Blair announced he would be gone by September 2004.
relations with his political colleagues
Relations With His Political Colleagues

Tony Blair seemed to have a close relationship with Gordon Brown who were both seen as possible candidates for the role as party leader. A Blair-Brown pact was made and this supposedly had stated that they wouldn’t run against each other. As shown by opinion polls, Blair was much more highly favored by the public than Brown which could be because of his many leadership qualities. However, cracks began to show between their friendship and Blair had no choice but to keep him within the cabinet as he could have caused a lot more damage to the party outside of it.

relations with his political colleagues1
Relations With His Political Colleagues

Blair also seemed to have a rather unusual relationship with America’s President, George Bush. Blair formed a strong political alliance with him and was often referred to as “Bush's Poodle”. This close relationship also contributed to the damage of his reputation in Britain, as many British people didn’t like this. Blair often referred to America as being Britain’s friend and thought this bond was beneficial to both sides.

how did he lose office
How Did He Lose Office?
  • The Iraq War was one of the main factors as to why Blair had resigned
  • It had a negative effect on his popularity which lost him many votes
  • Number of votes in 2001 = 40.7%
  • Number of votes in 2005 = 35.2%
  • In 2007, the role as Prime Minster was passed onto Gordon Brown