Blair 'back at full throttle'

Tony Blair will be back at "full throttle" on Tuesday following his heart scare, the Prime Minster's official spokesman said.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stood in for Mr Blair to deliver a statement to MPs on Monday.

But Mr Blair held a string of meetings inside Downing Street despite being told to "take it easy" after Sunday's drama.

And Mr Straw told MPs: "I am pleased to tell the House that he is in very good form and fully recovered from yesterday."

The Prime Minister will press ahead with his full diary for the rest of the week including his monthly televised media briefing.

Number 10 released details of the PM's day as they sought to stress there was no lasting impact on his health and Premiership.

However, the scare inevitably provoked speculation that it could persuade Mr Blair to step down earlier than he might have.

It was the first time he has suffered heart problems but raised memories of the heart attack that killed former Labour leader John Smith when he was 50, the same age as Mr Blair.

The Prime Minister spent five hours in hospital after complaining of chest pains while staying at Chequers, his official country home in Buckinghamshire.

Doctors at London's Hammersmith Hospital gave him a cardioversion, an electric shock, to correct an irregular heartbeat.

The PM did not receive an anaesthetic but was sedated and "would have been out of it for a short period", the spokesman said. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, the Queen and Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull were informed but there was no need for Mr Blair to hand over power.

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