Tony Blair insists 12-week vaccine plan was his own idea after it is claimed he 'stole' it from Matt Hancock

Tony Diver
·1-min read
Tony Blair has been in conversation with the Government about its vaccine rollout -  Stefan Rousseau/PA
Tony Blair has been in conversation with the Government about its vaccine rollout - Stefan Rousseau/PA

Tony Blair has insisted that the idea to use a 12-week delay between coronavirus doses was his idea, after he was accused of stealing ideas from the Government and passing them off as his own.

Mr Blair published a paper in December calling for a delay between doses, arguing that it would allow more people to be protected from Covid-19 in a shorter space of time.

The Government later introduced such a policy, and a source close to Matt Hancock told the Mail on Sunday the Health Secretary was furious that Mr Blair had taken his idea and announced it as his own, and was no longer speaking to him.

On Friday Mr Blair insisted the idea had come from conversations he had with experts, and he still had "perfectly good" relations with ministers.

"It came out of discussions I had with a range of experts and I published it just before Christmas," he told an Institute for Government event.

"But having said that...I have a perfectly good relationship with people in Government.

"I am perfectly happy to work with them or interact with them.

"But getting into, I don't quite know how to put it politely, a game of 'who thought up what first', is neither seemly or very sensible."

A source had told the Mail on Sunday: “Matt was briefing Blair as a courtesy to a previous Prime Minister. But he cottoned on that Blair was milking these conversations.

“And that's when Hancock said, 'I'm not going to talk to you any more.”