An all-out power struggle between the chancellor and the prime minister, culminating with allegations of blackmail by Tony Blair and a ferocious shouting match between the two men, appeared last night to have forced Mr Blair to publicly declare as early as today that he will not be prime minister this time next year. — The Guardian

The Prime Minister will bow to the wishes of his MPs as his party descends into civil war and allies of Gordon Brown are accused of plotting to remove him. After another day of turmoil during which he suffered seven government resignations over his determination to cling to office, the Prime Minister will remove any lingering doubts about his intention to quit next year and underline that he is committed to a stable and orderly transition. — The Times

Isolated in Downing Street, with only a dwindling band of supporters, the Prime Minister is at bay. Everywhere he looks, there are groups plotting to hasten his exit. — Daily Mail

Childish MPs hounding Tony Blair must grow up and shut up. They must leave the PM alone so he can complete the job he was elected to do by the nation. And they must allow him the dignity of handling his departure in his own way. Not theirs. — The Sun

On a day of near-meltdown in the Blair administration, which saw seven members of the Government resign, the Prime Minister refused to be bundled out of office by what his allies described as the “aggression” of the Brown camp. — Daily Telegraph

New Labour politics is looking more like an episode of The Sopranos than a political party seeking to represent its members and govern the country.The Independent

“This is a well-planned, coordinated campaign organised by just one man – Gordon Brown. This is 1970s trade union politics carried out by shop stewards. The public will find it an absolute bloody disgrace. It is very, very telling about the style in which this man and these people will run the country!” — The Guardian

What we witnessed yesterday was a coup … How wonderfully ironic that members of Mr Blair’s praetorian guard, so obsessed with their all-consuming feud with Gordon Brown and his acolytes, lost sight of the discontent in their own camp.Daily Telegraph

The future of the Labour Party, this Government and Britain as an actor in world affairs depends on the two men being determined that one tenure will not end in a bloody shambles while another would start stained by factional chaos from which it never recovers. They have hours, not even days, never mind weeks, to settle on an accord, shared with others, from which there can be no recasting, retreat or revision. — The Times

So it is that Mr Blair’s premiership is to end as it began – as an elaborately stage-managed public relations exercise, all style and no substance. — Daily Mail

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW