Charlie Whelan says . . .

Don't believe it - "Westminster unites over terrorist attack"

I was waiting for a taxi to take me to the Daily Politics show when news of the London bombs began to filter through. The TV discussion I was due to join was about how well Tony Blair was doing, and did this mean he could go on for ever?

Having seen off Europe as an issue and won the Olympics for London, and being ready to claim a G8 summit victory on Africa (went this argument), Blair would see out a full term. The tragic events of 7 July only added to the siren voices claiming that their man was indestructible.

For fans such as John Rentoul at the Independent on Sunday, the only question is "how many people seriously think there is an alternative leader of this country". Plenty, actually, and they say that Blair is just a brilliant actor, even if he seems to have the right words at times of crisis.

For now, however, we are not allowed to state the obvious - that the Prime Minister's foreign policy just might have something to do with London being a target for terrorists. Yet that is what many MPs are saying privately in Westminster.

There was one politician who did not have to talk about Iraq, because he has made his views well known. His words resonated because they were genuine. Ken Livingstone held back the tears as he spoke for all Londoners: "This was not a terrorist attack against . . . presidents or prime ministers. Indiscriminate slaughter, irrespective of age, class, religion."

Here was a man who understands the city, a man who is a target himself because he actually travels on the Tube and buses. Livingstone was the real political hero of the week, and as time passes the views of such people will be taken seriously. For now - just - the nation supports its leader.