Tony Blair Denies He Plans To Be Next U.N. Chief
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
LONDON – Prime Minister Blair yesterday ruled himself out of the running as the next secretary-general of the United Nations as he sought to close down speculation about when he would quit as prime minister.
At his monthly press conference in Downing Street, he set out the challenges facing the government, ranging from nuclear power to anti-social behavior.
Asked whether he was in the running for the post of secretary-general, he said: “I am not going for the U.N. job.”
A month ago he signaled that he did not intend to serve a full third term as prime minister, promising to step down in time for his successor to become established before the next election.
A former foreign secretary, Jack Straw, told the Spectator this week that Mr.Blair would go “well before the next election” and would then take “a very important role on the world stage.”
Asked about Mr. Straw’s comments, Mr. Blair said: “If you don’t mind, I’ve said all I intend to say on this subject. I think the most important thing for us as a government is to get on with the job.” There was a lot to do, he said.
Asked whether Mr. Straw was his choice to replace John Prescott as the deputy prime minister, he said: “I would rather see an end to my having to answer the questions.”