I can't be sure that this was Tony Blair's last formal Labour Party function in the North East, but last night's special reception for the Prime Minister certainly felt like the dying embers of his time in office.
It was organised by Alan Milburn and Labour North in our magnificent new College of Technology on Haughton Road. There were friends from the Labour movement across the North East. Great atmophere (and great food too from the catering students).
With no press present, Tony gave very relaxed speech - would he have cracked the joke about the lap dancing club in Consett if the Daily Mail had been there? - which touched on familiar themes - Labour's renewal, the utter irrelevance of the Tories, and the potential for the next 100 years to be a progressive century, but only if the Party is prepared to embrace continuing change.
A heartfelt round of appluase at the end.