LONDON - An emotional Tony Blair resigned as prime minister Wednesday after a decade in power, clearing the way for Treasury chief Gordon Brown to take command of the government.I wish Blair well in post-political life. However I think being a Middle East Peace envoy is a thankless job. Unless there is a radical change in the thinking t hat takes place in that part of the world, and there is no present signs of there being so, peace negotiations can be compared to being on a treadmill. They won't get anywhere. I guess someone has to try, otherwise the region if not the rest of the world have to pay for the turmoil that never seems to cease.
Blair submitted his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II during a 25-minute closed-door meeting at Buckingham Palace. With his wife, Cherie, he waved to reporters and then traveled to his constituency in northern England, where he is expected to quit as a lawmaker to take up his post with the Quartet of Mideast peace mediators.
Brown, a 56-year-old Scot known for his often stern demeanor, beamed as he was applauded by Treasury staff before heading with his wife, Sarah, to the palace to be confirmed as prime minister.
Blair received a warm sendoff in the House of Commons, from his opponents as well as members of his own Labour party, after one final appearance at the weekly question time session.
"I wish everyone — friend or foe — well. And that is that. The end," he said.
Legislators rose to their feet and applauded as he left for his meeting with the queen. Some, including Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, wiped away tears.
Blair also used the session to say he was sorry for the perils faced by British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he gave no apology for his decisions to back the United States in taking military action.
Blair expressed condolences to the families of the fallen, this week including two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
"I am truly sorry about the dangers that they face today in Iraq and Afghanistan," Blair said.
"I know some may think that they face these dangers in vain; I don't and I never will. I believe they are fighting for the security of this country and the wider world against people who would destroy our way of life," he said.
"Whatever view people take of my decisions, I think there is only way view to take of them: they are the bravest and the best," Blair added.
David Cameron, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, saluted Blair's achievements and wished him well.
"He has considerable achievements to his credit, whether it is peace in Northern Ireland, whether it is work in the developing world, which I know will endure," Cameron said.
"I'm sure that life in the public eye has sometimes been tough on this family. So can I say on behalf of my party that we wish him and his family well, and we wish him every success in whatever he does in the future."
President Bush paid a final tribute to his ally and will later call Blair's successor with congratulations.
"Tony's had a great run and history will judge him kindly," Bush told Britain's The Sun tabloid in remarks published Wednesday. "I've heard he's been called Bush's poodle. He's bigger than that."
Bush is thought to have been instrumental in winning Blair his new role as envoy to the Quartet of Mideast peace mediators.
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Cao, Morewhat,