Britain's Brown 'ready to lobby' for Blair for EU president



LONDON - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is prepared to actively campaign for his predecessor Tony Blair to be named the first president of the European Union, government sources said late Tuesday.
Brown will put the case for Blair for the new post to European leaders meeting in Brussels later this week, the BBC reported.



Britain's Brown 'ready to lobby' for Blair for EU president
Blair, who was British prime minister from 1997 to 2007, has not declared himself in the running for the new, permanent job of European Council head.
But the British Labour government says its former leader would enjoy London's full support -- and Brown is ready to start campaigning for Blair if he threw his hat into the ring, Downing Street sources said.
Blair's prospects of leading a new-look European Union took a double hit earlier Tuesday as a serious rival -- Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker -- became the first to declare his intentions to run and Italy backtracked on earlier support.
The job created by the Lisbon Treaty does not yet exist as the treaty has yet to be ratified in all 27 EU nations.
But Brussels wants the choices for the two new jobs of president and foreign affairs supremo named by the end of the year.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told journalists on Monday that Blair would be "a good choice," saying: "He is a persuasive advocate, a genuine European and a real coalition-builder."
Blair faces fierce opposition from the main opposition Conservatives in Britain ahead of a general election here by next June that they are widely tipped to win.
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Wednesday, October 28th 2009
AFP
           


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