Tony Blair (born 6 May 1953) is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. He is also MP for the constituency of Sedgefield. He has led the Labour Party since July 1994, following the death of John Smith in May of that year. Blair brought Labour into power with a landslide victory in the 1997 general election replacing John Major as Prime Minister and ending eighteen years of Conservative government. He is now the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister, and the only person to have led the party to three consecutive general election victories. The youngest person to be appointed Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812 , he has deployed British armed forces into four conflicts: in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Blair is credited, along with Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, with moving the Labour Party towards the centre of British politics, using the term "New Labour" to distinguish his policies of support for the market economy from the party's older policy of nationalisation. He has referred to his policy as "modern social democracy" and "the third way" - a development partly supported by the reform socialist thinktank, The Fabian Society, of which Blair is a member (like many Labour MPs). Supporters on the left feel that Blair places insufficient emphasis on traditional Labour priorities such as the redistribution of wealth and investment in public services. Although Blair has tended not to make any issue of his faith, some have commented on Blair's religious position as high church Anglo-Catholic; in a 2006 interview Blair said he considered himself ultimately accountable to God for difficult decisions, particularly his decisions to commit UK troops to military action .
Since the September 11th attacks, Blair's political agenda has been dominated by international affairs, most especially with the United States-led "War on Terror". He has controversially supported many aspects of US President George W. Bush's foreign policy, including sending British troops to participate in Afghanistan since 2001, and in Iraq since 2003; Blair's related anti-terrorism legislation has also been highly controversial.
In October 2004, Blair declared his intention to seek a third term but not a fourth. The Labour party won a third term in government at the 2005 general election for the first time in its history, although its majority in the House of Commons was reduced to 66. The fall in Labour's share of the vote renewed speculation as to how long his leadership will continue. It is widely predicted that he will be succeeded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown at some point before the next General Election (which will occur at the latest on June 3, 2010).