LondonNet News Headlines
25/05/01
Euro Poll Faces Extra Delay
- Murdoch support comes with strings attached

THE LABOUR PARTY may delay a referendum on joining the single European currency until after the election after next.

That is the startling conclusion to be drawn from reports that Prime Minister Tony Blair has signalled to media baron Rupert Murdoch that he will not call a poll on Euro membership in the early years of a new parliament, in return for the support of Murdoch's newspapers during the current general election.

In the 1997 election, Blair persuaded Murdoch to allow The Sun to back Labour, despite its previous history as a rabidly right wing organ. This time around, The Sun will continue its pro-Labour stance and will be joined in the Blair-backing band by The Times, Murdoch's UK broadsheet.

Talk about delaying the referendum on the single currency until late in the next parliament is seen by many as code for delaying it beyond another election, as few Labour politicians would fancy the prospect of campaigning for - and perhaps losing - a referendum within a year of a general election.



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