Tony Blair says he is interested in another term as PM


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Tony Blair said yesterday he would like another stint as Prime Minister, although he accepts it is very unlikely to happen.

In an interview with the Evening Standard – which he was guest-editing for the day – Mr Blair made clear that he would like another big job in public service.

It comes as he steps up his involvement in domestic politics after a lengthy period in which he has concentrated on his job as an international Middle East envoy and his foundations for faith, sport and Africa.

When asked whether he would accept another term as Prime Minister if it were offered, he replied: "Yes, sure, but it's not likely to happen."

Looking back to the day of his resignation, he said: "I didn't want to go but I felt that I had to. The only choice would have been to have fought a very bloody battle internally which I thought would damage the country as well as the party."

Mr Blair suggested that in some ways he would be better equipped now to be Prime Minister than he was during his time in Downing Street.

"I have learned an immense amount in the past five years," he said. "One of my regrets is that what I have learned in the last five years would have been so useful to me [as Prime Minister]. Because when you see how the world is developing you get a far clearer picture of some of the issues our country is grappling with."

Mr Blair said that it was "inevitable" that Labour would go down to defeat in the 2010 general election after it became clear that, under his successor Gordon Brown, it did not know whether it wanted to stick to the New Labour agenda he had mapped out. He predicted that the Liberal Democrats will struggle at the next election, scheduled for 2015, and urged Mr Miliband to stick to the centre ground.