I will not take a seat in the House of Lords, says Blair

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair will not be taking a seat in the House of Lords when he steps down as Prime Minister.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror he said that his historic third term in Downing Street will be the end of his career in frontline politics. He told the newspaper that the second chamber, where he would have an automatic place if he wanted, was "not my scene".

And he warned his own party not to get involved in slanging matches with the new Conservative leader, David Cameron, urging MPs to wait and see what he actually did.

Despite talking about moving to the centre, Mr Cameron had already shown right-wing tendencies in his first week as leader, Mr Blair suggested.

"It would not be sensible for the Labour Party to go whirling and tumbling around and me saying he is a rat," he said.

"The two decisions he has made are both very much to the right - one on Europe and one on free-for-all admissions in education - which I totally disagree with. Let's wait and see what he does. The question is not whether they talk about the centre ground but whether they do it, whether they believe in the NHS and state schools."

Mr Cameron was hailed for launching something of a coup during his first Commons question-time with Mr Blair by apparently dropping "Punch and Judy"-style confrontation in the name of consensus.

He offered to help Mr Blair avoid a potential defeat at the hands of backbench rebels by supporting education reforms. The issue of admissions - one of the main battles Mr Blair faces with his own MPs - was the one the PM found to highlight differences between himself and the Conservative leader.

Mr Blair said he was "fed up" with talking about his new Tory rival.

He also joked about a potential reunion with the former US president Bill Clinton when he stepped down. "Oh God, it will be like the Everly Brothers back on tour," he said.