Latest Tony Blair news

  • George Bush: My World Leader Portraits Will Wow
    George Bush: My World Leader Portraits Will Wow Fri, Apr 4, 2014

    Former US President George Bush has said world leaders will be shocked by his artistic skills when they see his portraits of them. The 67-year-old, who took up painting after leaving the White House five years ago, put his collection on display at the George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas. One of the most striking works is a stern-faced portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which hangs alongside paintings of many other famous faces, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi and the Dalai Lama. In an interview with NBC's Today show , Mr Bush said: "I think they're going to be (like), 'Wow, George Bush is a painter'. More »

  • Former President George W. Bush's brush portrays world leaders
    Former President George W. Bush's brush portrays world leaders Fri, Apr 4, 2014

    By Bill Trott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday revealed a series of portraits of world leaders he painted in a new pursuit that he said has "opened my mind," even though it left him exposed to joking criticism from his mother. An exhibit titled "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" opens on Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas and was shown to reporters on Friday. It feature Bush's paintings of some two dozen world figures he worked with during his 2001-2009 presidency, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama. Accompanying each portrait, are some rarely seen photos of Bush with each leader, including a photo of Bush and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi strumming guitars during a tour of Graceland in 2006. More »

  • George W. Bush's portraits to be shown on 'Today'
    George W. Bush's portraits to be shown on 'Today' Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    Former President George W. Bush will talk with daughter Jenna Bush Hager about his first art exhibit on NBC's "Today" show Friday morning. His portraits of 24 world leaders include Tony Blair, ... More »

  • Unite Union Boss Warns of Split with Labour If Miliband Loses in 2015
    Unite Union Boss Warns of Split with Labour If Miliband Loses in 2015 Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    Len McCluskey, leader of the giant Unite trade union, has warned it could sever its links to the Labour party if Ed Miliband loses the next election. He urged the party to stop focusing its efforts only on "Worcester woman and Mondeo man" – the voter groups identified by Tony Blair as central to New Labour's fortunes – and focus on "Wakefield woman and the bloke on the bus". And he said offering "pale versions" of the coalition's austerity measures would doom Labour to failure in 2015, at which point there could easily be a debate about severing the union's links with the party. The union has already cut its funding to the Labour party after Miliband moved to weaken the links between them and McCluskey said he believed the party was "at a crossroads". More »

  • Nigel Farage Slams 'Miserable' Angela Merkel and Hails 'Brilliant' …
    Nigel Farage Slams 'Miserable' Angela Merkel and Hails 'Brilliant' … Mon, Mar 31, 2014

    Ukip leader Nigel Farage has derided German chancellor Angela Merkel, calling her "miserable" and "cold". The most powerful female politician in the world got short shrift from Farage, who said: "She is incredibly cold. Speaking to Tony Blair's former spin doctor Alistair Campbell for GQ magazine, Farage explained: "I warm to more extrovert people." Labour's leader Ed Miliband was described as "unworldly"; More »

  • Ukip-man and Why The Big Three Parties Might Fear Him
    Ukip-man and Why The Big Three Parties Might Fear Him Fri, Mar 28, 2014

    When politicians and commentators look at Nigel Farage or his lieutenants there is a tendency for them to believe they are looking at the embodiment of Ukipman, the type of individual who will be tempted to vote for the party in the coming EU elections. There is more to Nigel Farage than that but, far more importantly, it is becoming increasingly obvious there is also far more to the "average" Ukip supporter than that, if there is such a thing. And, as Ukip's profile has grown, confusion has also grown over exactly who supporters of this party of anti-establishment, anti-EU individuals really are and which of the traditional parties they will recruit most from. Tony Blair identified Mondeo Man and Worcester Woman as target groups, while the Tories always used to have the Blue Rinse Brigade and, thanks to elections guru Lynton Crosby, are now focusing on the Anxious Aspirationals. More »

  • Tony Benn: Maverick Lord, Maverick MP
    Tony Benn: Maverick Lord, Maverick MP Mon, Mar 17, 2014

    Peter Hennessy describes in his book The Prime Minister – The office and its holders since 1945 (2000) a conversation he had with Tony Benn on the relationship between the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and Parliament. Following on from this soon afterwards, Mr Benn presented The Modernization of the Premiership Bill in the House of Commons in February 1999. The Bill set out to limit in particular, the powers of the Prime Minister – at the time Tony Blair – and reform a parliamentary system which had, in Mr Benn's judgement, become too presidential. Shortly before the two gentlemen's conversation, Mr Benn had given a lecture to Mr Hennessy's students at Queen Mary, University of London, explaining his position, saying: More »

  • Tony Benn: My Duels with The Most Dangerous Man in British Politics
    Tony Benn: My Duels with The Most Dangerous Man in British Politics Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    Tony Benn, the firebrand socialist, powerful orator and charismatic and divisive politician, could be an intimidating figure – until you met him. The public image of a rabble rouser ready to march his red army to the barricades at the drop of a hat was matched by the routine media description of him as the most dangerous man in British politics. That last is a quality he shared with the man he opposed, perhaps above all others in the Labour party, Tony Blair, who he would say was creating a new party with little real connection to Labour. More »

  • David Cameron: 'Blair? We're Not Friends'
    David Cameron: 'Blair? We're Not Friends' Thu, Mar 13, 2014

    David Cameron has said he would not describe Tony Blair as a friend, following a 20-minute discussion with the former Prime Minister. After the meeting during his two-day visit to Israel, Mr Cameron told Sky News: "I wouldn't say it is about friendship. "We come from different political parties, different political traditions and there are many things we disagreed about, but we both want a two-state solution and he has got a contribution to help bring that about by helping generate Palestinian economic growth. "I obviously listen to Tony Blair's advice, as I listen to many people's advice." More »

  • I'm terrified, Brooks told Blair
    I'm terrified, Brooks told Blair Wed, Mar 12, 2014

    Rebekah Brooks texted Tony Blair that she was "feeling properly terrified" as she prepared for a grilling by police, the hacking trial heard today. More »

  • Court rules against gag on 'frank' letters from Prince Charles
    Court rules against gag on 'frank' letters from Prince Charles Wed, Mar 12, 2014

    The possible publication of potentially embarrassing letters written by British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles moved a step closer on Wednesday when a gagging order on them was declared unlawful by a court. The 27 letters were written by Charles to members of the previous Labour government and have been described by Attorney General Dominic Grieve as "particularly frank." The 65-year-old prince has long held strong views in areas like the environment and urban planning and has been criticised for apparently using his unelected position to persuade ministers to change official policies through private letters, nicknamed "black-spider memos" because of his scrawled handwriting. He has said that any perception that Charles had disagreed with the previous government of Tony Blair "would be seriously damaging to his role as future monarch because, if he forfeits his position of political neutrality as heir to the throne, he cannot easily recover it when he is king". More »

  • Talks to help Palestinian economy open in Prague Sat, Mar 8, 2014

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says there is enormous potential for doing business in the Palestinian territories. Blair, who serves as special envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, a diplomatic ... More »

  • Number of UK Youngsters in Full Time Education Doubled Over Last Three Deca …
    Number of UK Youngsters in Full Time Education Doubled Over Last Three Deca … Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    According to official figures, there were more than three million (42%) youngsters who were in full-time education at the end of 2013, up from 1.42 million (17%) in 1984. Office for National Statistics (ONS) explained that the hike has happened against a backdrop of a falling youth population, which at 7.20 million is one million lower than in 1984 when it was 8.20 million. The research body said that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds in full-time education rose steadily from 1984 to 1998, where 2.3 million (37%) were in full-time education. The research also revealed that around 1997, when Tony Blair's New Labour government came to power, there was a sharp rise in those in full-time education[ Fig 1]. More »

  • Blair 'reaching for cheque book' to rescue Labour's bank balanc …
    Blair 'reaching for cheque book' to rescue Labour's bank balanc … Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    Ed Miliband could be set to receive a funding boost from Tony Blair in the run-up to the next general election. More »

  • Brooks 'Got Death Threats' Over Milly's Phone
    Brooks 'Got Death Threats' Over Milly's Phone Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    Rebekah Brooks received death threats following the revelation that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked by the News Of The World, a court has heard. Brooks, who was chief executive of News International at the time, but had been NOTW editor, told the Old Bailey she received messages of support as she found herself the "central figure" of the story. Former prime minister Tony Blair sent her a text which read: "Let me know if there's anything I can help you with. GB (Gordon Brown) pals getting their own back. More »

  • Murdoch told me not to quit amid phone-hacking row - Brooks
    Murdoch told me not to quit amid phone-hacking row - Brooks Tue, Mar 4, 2014

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks, former boss of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm, told a London court on Tuesday how the media mogul had persuaded her not to quit amid public revulsion over the hacking of a murdered schoolgirl's phone. Brooks, on trial for phone-hacking offences, said a 2011 report that journalists on Murdoch's News of the World tabloid had tapped the voicemail messages of 13-year-old Milly Dowler had caused a national scandal, with her at its centre, describing it at the time as a "sexist witch hunt". Despite the furore, Murdoch and other senior figures told her not to resign, and she told the Old Bailey court that former Prime Minister Tony Blair and CNN talk show host Piers Morgan had also contacted her to offer support. After she finally quit when her role became untenable, she said she was escorted from the company's London headquarters following demands from the police. More »

  • Piers Morgan emailed support to Brooks on hacking
    Piers Morgan emailed support to Brooks on hacking Tue, Mar 4, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks said Tuesday that she received abuse and death threats after it was revealed the newspaper had hacked the voicemails of a murdered 13-year-old girl. But she also got messages of support from high-profile figures including CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan and former Prime Minister Tony Blair. More »

  • Ed Miliband Set to Win Labour Reforms Despite Union Fears
    Ed Miliband Set to Win Labour Reforms Despite Union Fears Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    Labour leader Ed Miliband will on Saturday seek backing for his fundamental reforms of the party's links with the unions in a move he claims will "change British politics forever." It is a bold claim and has been matched by his suggestion it is an even bigger change than Tony Blair's famous ditching of Labour's old "Clause IV" of the party constitution that talked about state control of industry. The truth is, while these reforms are a genuinely big deal for Labour, they will go largely unnoticed by the wider public and carry nothing like the same symbolic importance as Blair's reform. Blair's Clause IV row was about his determination, as his opponents saw it, to remove the socialist heart of the party as part of his wider modernisation programme, moving Labour to the centre. More »

  • N.Ireland leader accuses Blair over amnesty letters
    N.Ireland leader accuses Blair over amnesty letters Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson accused former British prime minister Tony Blair on Friday of deliberately deceiving politicians in the province over an amnesty scheme for fugitive IRA suspects. More »

  • DUP Knew About IRA Letters, Says McGuinness
    DUP Knew About IRA Letters, Says McGuinness Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    The resignation of Northern Ireland's first minister over the so-called IRA suspect amnesties would achieve nothing, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has said. The deputy first minister said Peter Robinson's threat to resign, effectively collapsing the Stormont administration, was not the way forward and that it was time for "cool heads" and "steady leadership". He claimed the Democratic Unionist Party knew about the deal which led to letters being sent to "on-the-run" terror suspects informing them they would not be arrested. Mr McGuinness said the agreement on the so-called "get-out-of-jail-free" letters was actually widely known, the information was in the public domain and that it had been written about in a book by Tony Blair's former chief of staff, Jonathan Powell. More »

  • Miliband reforms 'seismic changes'
    Miliband reforms 'seismic changes' Sat, Feb 22, 2014

    Ed Miliband has claimed his plans to reform Labour are more significant than the modernisation of the party carried out by Tony Blair. More »

  • Countess of Wessex Apologised for Indiscreet Comments after NoTW Fake Sheikh …
    Countess of Wessex Apologised for Indiscreet Comments after NoTW Fake Sheikh … Fri, Feb 21, 2014

    The Countess of Wessex was reportedly forced to write letters of apology to politicians and senior royals after she feared recordings of her making "horribly indiscreet"' comments about The Queen and Cherie Blair had been leaked to the press. Prince Edward's wife was targeted by NoTW investigative reporter Mazher Mahmood, after he received a tip-off from Max Clifford that the Countess's PR company was selling access to the royal family in 2001. Mahmood posed as a Sheikh interested in hiring her PR firm and during a meeting, recorded Sophie making disparaging comments about the late Diana, Princess of Wales, the Queen Mother, Tony and Cherie Blair and William Hague. The 'Sophie tapes' recorded by the undercover reporter revealed the royal describing Tony Blair as being 'far too presidential' while Cherie Blair was 'just horrid. More »

  • Low Pay Commission Founder: UK Minimum Wage Needs Strengthening
    Low Pay Commission Founder: UK Minimum Wage Needs Strengthening Fri, Feb 21, 2014

    The UK's cost of living debate has heated up as the man who first implemented the National Minimum Wage warned that it is no longer strong enough to tackle the country's low pay problems. Professor Sir George Bain, the founding chair of the Low Pay Commission which recommends the rate of the minimum wage, argued that the NMW has been a "clear success" in the first 15 years of its life but that the policy now needs strengthening to keep it effective and relevant for the future. The rate, which now stands at £6.31 an hour for workers 21 and over, came into force in April 1999 under Tony Blair's New Labour government. Bain, who is also heading up a review of the policy's future at the thinktank the Resolution Foundation, said that while the NMW has been "highly successful" at lifting most people out of extreme low pay, it has not had the upward "ripple effect" that many expected. More »

  • Rebekah Brooks Phone Hacking Trial: 'How I Met the New Labour Crew'
    Rebekah Brooks Phone Hacking Trial: 'How I Met the New Labour Crew' Thu, Feb 20, 2014

    Rupert Murdoch urged Rebekah Brooks not to create publicity for herself and to "keep her head down" during her time at the News of the World, a court has heard. Giving evidence at the phone hacking trial for the first time at the Old Bailey, Brooks told the court about the times she would have to speak to the media mogul when she would stand in as editor of the News International-owned paper. Following yesterday's evidence about former prime minister Tony Blair's advice to Mrs Brooks on how to protect the Murdoch family from the phone hacking scandal, she described the first time she met Blair. "That's where I met for the first time the New Labour team, Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, Alastair Campbell and his partner Fiona Millar, Peter Mandelson – the original New Labour crew," she said. More »

  • Hacking trial: Blair offered to advise Murdoch
    Hacking trial: Blair offered to advise Murdoch Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair offered to work as an unofficial adviser to Rupert Murdoch as revelations of illegal phone hacking engulfed the mogul's media empire, according to an email made public Wednesday at the trial of several former Murdoch lieutenants. More »

  • Hacking Trial: Blair 'Offered Advice To Brooks'
    Hacking Trial: Blair 'Offered Advice To Brooks' Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Tony Blair advised News International executive Rebekah Brooks to establish a Hutton-style inquiry to investigate the phone-hacking scandal, a court has heard. The jury was shown an email sent by Brooks, summing up an hour-long telephone conversation with the former Prime Minister. In it, she said Mr Blair had offered to act as "informal advisor" and gave a number of suggestions on how she should deal with the unfolding drama. During the call Mr Blair allegedly said Brooks should attempt to set up an "independent" inquiry comprised of "an outside junior counsel, Ken Macdonald, a great and good type, a serious forensic barrister, internal counsel, proper fact-checkers etc in it", the court heard. More »

  • Blair 'advised Murdoch executives over hacking crisis'
    Blair 'advised Murdoch executives over hacking crisis' Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Former British prime minister Tony Blair advised a key executive in Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire days before she was arrested over phone hacking at the News of the World, a court heard on Wednesday. More »

  • Former PM Blair offered to help Murdoch over phone-hacking
    Former PM Blair offered to help Murdoch over phone-hacking Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    By Michael Holden and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair offered to act as a secret adviser to Rupert Murdoch during his media empire's phone-hacking scandal, suggesting the firm follow steps he took to calm public anger over the Iraq war, a London court heard on Wednesday. Rebekah Brooks, the ex-boss of Murdoch's British newspapers, wrote an email to Murdoch's son James detailing advice Blair had given her during an hour-long phone call in July 2011 at the height of a furore over phone-hacking allegations at the media mogul's News of the World tabloid. The disclosure came as the prosecution wrapped up its case against Brooks, who is on trial at London's Old Bailey on charges relating to phone-hacking which she denies. More »

  • Blair's 'Hutton-Style Report' Advice to Brooks: What Does it Me …
    Blair's 'Hutton-Style Report' Advice to Brooks: What Does it Me … Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    The phone hacking trial has been told how Tony Blair allegedly advised News International to conduct a 'Hutton-style inquiry' into illegal practices at the News of the World. Jurors heard that, in an email from the newspaper's former editor Rebekah Brooks to News International's James Murdoch, the former PM had recommended: "Form an independent unit that has an outside junior counsel, Ken Macdonald, a great and good type, a serious forensic criminal barrister, internal counsel, proper fact checkers etc in it. But what was the Hutton Inquiry?  In 2003 then-prime minister Blair announced an investigation into the apparent suicide of Dr David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, which would be chaired by Lord Hutton. More »

  • Blair, Murdoch and the offer of phone-hacking help
    Blair, Murdoch and the offer of phone-hacking help Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Tony Blair offered to provide informal assistance to Rebekah Brookes and Rupert Murdoch at the height to the phone-hacking scandal, it has emerged. More »

  • Blair 'offered to advise Brooks'
    Blair 'offered to advise Brooks' Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Tony Blair offered to act as an "unofficial adviser" to newspaper editor Rebekah Brooks when she sought his guidance at the height of the phone-hacking crisis at the News of the World, prosecutors have told the Old Bailey. More »

  • Tony Blair 'Advised Rebekah Brooks on Phone Hacking Scandal' Before …
    Tony Blair 'Advised Rebekah Brooks on Phone Hacking Scandal' Before … Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Former prime minister Tony Blair advised Rebekah Brooks on how to protect the Murdoch family from the phone hacking scandal following the closure of the News of the World, a court has heard. The jury in the phone hacking trial was shown an email between Brooks and James Murdoch in which Blair allegedly offered to be an "unofficial adviser" to the Murdochs and the former NotW editor. Brooks said Blair advised her to launch a "Hutton-style report" – a reference to an inquiry into the death of Iraq weapons inspector David Kelly - which would clear James Murdoch of any wrongdoing in the wake of the fallout. The email said Blair gave Brooks the advice during an hour-long phone conversation the pair had on on 11 July 2011, the day after the News International-owned NotW paper closed and six days before she was arrested on phone hacking accusations. More »

  • Cameron's 'Moral Mission' Targets Archbishop over Welfare
    Cameron's 'Moral Mission' Targets Archbishop over Welfare Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Whenever politicians start talking about their "moral mission" warning bells usually start to ring. It is not just that voters probably believe politics and morality sit uneasily together, although that is certainly the case. John Major's disastrous "back to basics" claim of 1993, which ended up with a string of minister's private affairs being exposed, is the best recent example of the unforeseen consequences of a perceived moral crusade. And there were always suspicions that the deeply religious Tony Blair believed he was on a moral crusade, particularly with his disastrous foreign policy. More »

  • Italy Set To Get 'Tony Blair-Like' New PM
    Italy Set To Get 'Tony Blair-Like' New PM Fri, Feb 14, 2014

    Italy looks set to get its third prime minister in a year - a man who is being called the country's Tony Blair because of his youthful charisma and rise to the political top at the early age of 39. Mayor of Florence Matteo Renzi is the ambitious leader of the governing centre-left Democratic Party, who looks likely to win the nomination to replace Enrico Letta following his dramatic resignation. Mr Letta has submitted his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano after less than a year in power at the head of an uneasy coalition. The latest political drama in Rome is the result of weeks of feuding between the PM and his rival and the "relay" between the pair is unpopular among Italians, according to opinion polls, with concern that it could strengthen the hand of disgraced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. More »

  • Matteo Renzi: Boy Scout Tony Blair who Wants to be Italy's PM
    Matteo Renzi: Boy Scout Tony Blair who Wants to be Italy's PM Thu, Feb 13, 2014

    A few months after being elected as the leader of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), Matteo Renzi has staged a palace coup against prime minister and party colleague Enrico Letta. In a motion approved by the party, Renzi called for a new government to be formed, implying that Letta should step down. Born in Florence, he has been nicknamed "Little Berlusconi" by critics and "Italy's Tony Blair" by supporters. Those tied to Cold War-era political dualism accused him of being a right-winger, a reputation boosted by two much criticised personal meetings he had with Silvio Berlusconi. More »