It was a momentous day for British politics. Tony Blair resigned as Britain’s head of government to make way for his Chancellor, Gordon Brown, 56, as the 11th Prime Minister during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
The transition was swift, with no ceremonies. Blair drove to Buckingham Palace to hand over his resignation to the Queen at around 1 pm local time and then Brown was driven in an hour later to become Prime Minister. It was for the first time after 17 years that a new Prime Minister has taken over without a general election.
Earlier, MPs in the House of Commons gave Blair a standing ovation. “I wish everyone, friend or foe, well and that is that, the end,” Blair told the House. He had said nothing while leaving No. 10, Downing Street, for the last time. On his return from the Palace, the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Now let the work of change begin.”
(With inputs from agencies)