Blair is suffering the fate of Major, says Dobson

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair's Government was compared to the dying days of John Major's administration by a former cabinet minister who said the Prime Minister was "in office but not in power".

The former health secretary, Frank Dobson, said that it would be better for Mr Blair to resign before the May elections.

"Quite a few people are now thinking that things are getting into such a mess that it would be better if Tony Blair went now even if it meant that Gordon Brown did have to take some responsibility for our electoral performance in May," he said on GMTV.

Mr Blair is due to deliver a keynote speech today at the Davos economic summit but Mr Dobson said none of the world leaders wanted to speak to him.

"One of the biggest problems John Major's government faced in the end was that it looked as though it was not really in charge of things and there is an air arising in the Government at the moment that people are not quite in charge of their departments," he said.

The Prime Minister's authority was diminished by the cabinet revolt which stopped him allowing an exemption for Catholic agencies over gay adoption. Mr Blair faces the humiliation of presenting proposals that will give the agencies time to adapt, but could lead to some closing down.

It was also disclosed that police investigating the "cash for honours" affair found that potentially incriminating e-mails had been erased by No 10 aides. Downing Street denied an ITV report that police found a secret parallel computer system but did not deny e-mails had been erased.