Tony Blair is planning to stay on as Prime Minister for at least another year, it was reported yesterday.

Apparently reinvigorated by his US visit, Mr Blair has allegedly asked aides to prepare a busy programme for his return from holidays in September.

The reports are likely to increase tension with Chancellor Gordon Brown, who is widely believed to be expecting an "orderly handover" in the spring.

And they will anger backbench critics of Mr Blair, who were hoping to secure a timetable for his departure at Labour's annual conference in Manchester next month.

According to unnamed sources, Mr Blair is determined to extend his time at 10 Downing Street.

And he is hoping to use the extra year to push through a fresh round of modernising reforms in health and education.

He has reportedly already drawn up an action plan with aides stretching through to the end of 2007.

This includes legislation to make it easier to deport illegal immigrants and the completion of his plans for independent trust schools and NHS reform.

Yesterday, a Downing S treet spokesman declined to comment on the reports' details, saying: "The Prime Minister has made his position clear on this several times and we have nothing to add."

And Home Secretary John Reid - one of Mr Blair's closest Cabinet allies - dismissed the reports as "the same old media babble".

He insisted only that the Premier would leave Downing Street at a time of his own choosing.

"Basically, what happens is the media sets up a date on which they say the Prime Minister's going to leave and then they run a whole series of stories saying 'Good heavens! He is not keeping to the date now," said Mr Reid.

"Nothing has changed. "Tony Blair will leave at a time of his own choosing. That's what the party wants and what is best for the country.

"The important thing is that the country knows that, whenever Tony Blair leaves, the Labour Party will be New Labour.

"It will continue to be a reforming, centre-left, progressive party, addressing the issues that this country wants addressed."