Blair gives 'full support' to Brown in Britain's leadership change
May 11, 2007 - 5:07:02 PM

London, May 11 - Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair Friday gave his 'full support' to Gordon Brown, his likely successor, saying he was certain that Brown would make a 'great prime minister.'

'I think he - has got what it takes to lead the Labour Party, and indeed the country, with distinction,' said Blair.

The ringing endorsement came as Brown, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer - prepared to launch his campaign for election by his party.

If all goes according to plan, 56-year-old Brown would take over as Labour leader and prime minister at the end of June.

Blair announced Thursday that he was stepping down on June 27, after 10 years in power.

Blair described Brown as an 'extraordinary and rare talent,' and said he was sure Brown could make a 'real difference to this country for the better and for the good.'

In a clear attempt to foster party unity, and despite past tensions between the two Labour giants, Blair described Brown as a 'friend and colleague' who he knew would work for the modernization of Britain.

Brown was expected to unveil his manifesto in a speech to party activists in London later Friday.

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