Blair to join Labour poll campaign, says Mandelson

Middle East envoy Tony Blair speaks at the Global Competitiveness Conference, an annual gathering of Saudi and world businessmen, in Riyadh January 25, 2010. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

LONDON (Reuters) - Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said on Wednesday former Prime Minister Tony Blair would join the Labour Party’s campaign for an election that must be called by June.

Opinion polls show the Conservatives are favourites to win the election, which would end Labour’s 13 years in office.

“We want all the party’s leadership, past and present, to be contributing,” Mandelson told the Daily Mirror newspaper in an interview.

“Everyone will campaign: Tony Blair, (Deputy Prime Minister) John Prescott, (former Home Secretary) David Blunkett.”

Mandelson, who has backed Prime Minister Gordon Brown to lead Labour into the election despite some dissent in the party’s ranks, was speaking after GDP data showed Britain scraped out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan