Tony Blair and his wife Cherie claim almost £80,000 from the furlough scheme

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Tony Blair and his wife Cherie claim almost £80,000 from the furlough scheme
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Sir Tony Blair and Cherie have claimed nearly £80,000 from the furlough scheme.

Already the former Prime Minister has become embroiled in controversy as more than one million people signed a petition to strip him of his newly appointed knighthood.

In the latest reveal, a spokesman for the Blairs said they had used £76,000 to pay for some of their furloughed staff.

Any business or individual were perfectly allowed to claim money to cover the costs of wages for their furloughed staff.

Mr Blair and his wife’s names appeared on an updated list of the programme which was set up in March 2020 to protect jobs in the pandemic before it was scrapped in September.

Former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie (PA)
Former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie (PA)

The former politician is thought to have an estimated wealth of around £60million including 10 homes in 2015, according to The Daily Telegraph.

A spokesperson for the Blairs said in a statement: “In relation to the December to September months it was just over £35,000, an average of around £3,500 a month, in respect of three members of staff, based in the Harcourt Street office, who were unable to fulfil their usual duties because of Covid restrictions.

“The previous year’s figure was approximately £41,000 for five members of staff.

“They have all received their full pay and continue do so, regardless of the scheme ending.”

It comes after Victoria Beckham sparked outrage for using the furlough scheme and reportedly did a U-turn on her decision to furlough 30 staff members at her fashion label.

It comes as more than one million signed a petition to remove Mr Blair’s knighthood.

He was bestowed with the honour of a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

It is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system.

Despite the controversy, there are people who have leapt to the former Prime Minister’s defence.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I don’t think it’s a thorny issue for me at all. Tony Blair deserves the honour, he won three elections, he was a very successful Prime Minister.

“I haven’t got time this morning to list all of his many achievements which I think vastly improved our country.

“The one I would pick out in particular would be the work he did in Northern Ireland and the peace process and the huge change that has made.”

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