PM uses video to reveal stress and strain of life at No 10

The video, entitled A Day in the Life - an exclusive insight into the PM's working life, was posted yesterday morning on the Downing Street website. In it, Mr Blair admitted: "The hours are very long. I've never actually totted up the hours I do in any week, it's probably not lawful under some directive or other."

It was a gentle beginning to what will quickly become a difficult parliamentary session when MPs return next week and the argument resumes over his controversial plan to reform the state school system.

Government whips are also nervous about proposed reforms to the welfare state, including plans to reduce the £12bn cost of incapacity benefit, which will be published later this month, although some of the most controversial ideas mooted by Downing Street have been dropped. The benefit is to be made conditional on claimants co-operating with government schemes to help them back into employment.

John Hutton, the Work and Pensions Secretary, sought to head off trouble from Labour's back benches by publishing statistics showing that the areas with the largest numbers claiming to be off work with long-term illness were also the areas with the highest rates of unemployment and other social problems. "The clear link between benefit dependency and hardship is striking."

Mr Hutton wrote to the 100 MPs with the largest number of constituents on incapacity benefit pleading for their support. Heading the list was the Labour MP David Marshall, whose East Glasgow seat has 11,300 claiming long-term sickness. All but six are Labour MPs, and only one - the Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner - is a Conservative.

Many Labour MPs are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the May council elections. With the polls showing the Conservatives enjoying a political recovery under David Cameron, it is feared that hundreds of Labour councillors will lose their seats, and that many councils long held by Labour, including several London boroughs, will fall into Tory hands.

But in the video, a relaxed Mr Blair hints that his Tory rival is still untested as a potential prime minister. "Being Leader of the Opposition does not prepare you quite adequately for the difficulty of doing the prime minister's job, just because it's completely a different order of stress, challenge, pressure," he said.

"What is worthwhile is getting things done. And when you get things done and you see results, and you think, well, in part, that happened as a result of something I did, or we did, or decisions that were taken here, that's what makes everything worthwhile and it's an enormous privilege to be able to do it."

The video includes the first footage of a cabinet meeting, although it is not possible to hear what is being said. Mr Blair is seen with jacket off, talking informally to the camera, interspersed with shots of him visiting a hospital, taking Prime Minister's Questions, and meeting world leaders. He also talks of the pressure of being constantly in the public eye.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Analyst – 2 year fixed term contract – Kent – Circa £55k

£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...

**SEN Primary Teacher Serf Unit **

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...

Experienced Foundation Teacher

£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week