So do we want our MP back? Er, maybe

Yesterday's announcement confirmed the County Durham constituency of Sedgefield will get its local MP back within 12 months.

Yesterday's announcement confirmed the County Durham constituency of Sedgefield will get its local MP back within 12 months.

And judging by the response to calls to his office yesterday, he has some catching up to do.

"Thank you for calling the Prime Minister's constituency office," the answerphone message begins. That will change to plain old Tony Blair's office next year, of course.

"I'm sorry the office is closed for the summer recess," it continued, "and will open on Wednesday, August the 23rd. Thank you."

But if Mr Blair looks for support when he returns to his constituency, he is not guaranteed to find it.

Asked yesterday about the current leadership situation, Brian Hunter, 71, a retired teacher from Sedgefield said: "It is five years too late.

"I didn't like Tony Blair, I never did. We are a mixed bunch here in Sedgefield, but I would think they will be relieved to get rid of him.

"Maybe he could take his gang with him, that would be a relief for everybody."

Christine Moyle, 45, from nearby Fishburn, said: "The public have a right to know. When he got into power, he said that he wasn't going to stay for a full term. He should let people know when he is going, so someone can step into his shoes and get the public's confidence."

George Worley, 77, a retired printer from Sedgefield, said: "I have voted Conservative all my life and I think that Tony Blair has been the main object of the downfall of England. But I think that David Cameron is not the man for the job."

But Alan Bell, 58, a doctor from Trimdon, said: "Without Tony Blair, Labour would not be in power now.

"UK plc will miss him when he is gone because there is not anyone to replace him. He has won three elections. Surely the people are satisfied with what he has done. People do not vote for Labour; they vote for Tony Blair."

Joanne Kime, 29, a housewife from Fishburn, said: "There is a lot of speculation, and the pressure can't be good for him.

"I think he has done well for the people round here and I think people forget that there has been a definite change for the better.

"I think there has been an improvement in the economy and it has been great publicity for the area having him here."

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