Latest Tony Blair news

  • Corrie To Lay Anne Kirkbride's Deirdre To Rest
    Corrie To Lay Anne Kirkbride's Deirdre To Rest Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Months after the death of Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride, her soap character Deirdre Barlow is to be laid to rest. Bosses have revealed that a storyline will see Deirdre die and be mourned by Weatherfield's residents at what a source described as "the equivalent to a state funeral in soap terms". The storyline even led then prime minister Tony Blair to give his support to the Free The Weatherfield One movement to get her released. More »

  • Former PM Blair assails Cameron over EU referendum
    Former PM Blair assails Cameron over EU referendum Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to hold a European Union membership referendum if he is re-elected next month would lead to an intense period of uncertainty for businesses, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Tuesday. Cameron, whose Conservatives are neck-and-neck with the opposition Labour Party in most polls ahead of the May 7 vote, has promised to renegotiate Britain's ties with Brussels, and then hold a referendum by the end of 2017. In a campaign speech on Tuesday, former Labour leader Blair, prime minister from 1997-2007, said the "short-term" pain of Cameron's proposed re-negotiation has been underestimated. "Think of the chaos produced by the possibility, never mind the reality, of Britain actually quitting Europe," Blair, 61, said. More »

  • Tony Blair warns of dangers of second term for Conservatives
    Tony Blair warns of dangers of second term for Conservatives Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — Former British leader Tony Blair waded into Britain's general election campaign Tuesday, warning of economic chaos should Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party win the race. More »

  • Blair intervenes over EU membership
    Blair intervenes over EU membership Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    Tony Blair has dramatically intervened in the General Election campaign to warn of economic chaos if Conservative victory leads to an in/out referendum on Britain's EU membership. More »

  • Blair joins election fray with EU warning
    Blair joins election fray with EU warning Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    Former prime minister Tony Blair plunged into Britain's general election fray on Tuesday, sounding a warning about the dangers of the country leaving the EU. More »

  • Law Student Jailed Over Bomb-Making Manual
    Law Student Jailed Over Bomb-Making Manual Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Erol Incedal was jailed for three-and-a-half years for possessing a memory card with what the judge said were viable instructions for making an explosive device. Last week, the 27-year-old broke down in tears as he was found not guilty after a retrial of plotting with a terrorist in Syria to either target individuals such as former prime minister Tony Blair or carry out a "Mumbai-style" outrage using a Kalashnikov. His friend Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, also 27 and from London, admitted having an identical document. More »

  • In first UK election TV encounter, Miliband shrugs off 'geek' accus …
    In first UK election TV encounter, Miliband shrugs off 'geek' accus … Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    By William James and Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - Opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband rejected criticism that his image as "a geek" made him an electoral liability for his party, saying he didn't care what the country's mostly right-leaning press said about him. Opinion polls indicate neither Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives nor Labour will win an overall majority on May 7 as millions of voters turn to Nigel Farage's anti-EU UKIP party and the separatist Scottish National Party (SNP). In at times heated and personal exchanges, Miliband was repeatedly asked by veteran journalist Jeremy Paxman whether the former Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had borrowed too much. More »

  • Londoner cleared of extremist plot in secret trial
    Londoner cleared of extremist plot in secret trial Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    A British man who was found with former prime minister Tony Blair's home address was cleared of plotting a major attack Thursday following an unprecedented court case mostly conducted in secret. More »

  • Court rules Prince Charles letters to ministers can be disclosed
    Court rules Prince Charles letters to ministers can be disclosed Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that 27 "frank" letters written by Prince Charles to ministers in 2004-2005 can be disclosed to the media, a step that could cast doubt over the political neutrality of the future king. The Guardian newspaper has sought for a decade to obtain the letters sent to ministers under then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, but successive governments have acted to prevent publication for fear of undermining the position of the heir to the throne. Prime Minister David Cameron called the Supreme Court judgement "disappointing" and said the government would now consider how to release the letters. A spokeswoman for Charles at Clarence House, his official London residence, said: "Clarence House is disappointed the principle of privacy has not been upheld." Under Britain's unwritten constitution, the royal family is supposed to remain politically neutral. More »

  • Secret Terror Trial: Law Student Not Guilty
    Secret Terror Trial: Law Student Not Guilty Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    A law student has been found not guilty of a terrorist plot, which the Crown had claimed may have included plans to murder former prime minister Tony Blair. Erol Incedal, 27, broke down in tears as he was cleared of preparing acts of terrorism after a retrial at the Old Bailey, which has been highly controversial as it was held mostly in secret. However, he was found guilty of possessing bomb making instructions at his first trial in November last year and will be sentenced alongside co-defendant Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing bomb making instructions. During the course of the second old Bailey trial, the Crown claimed Incedal, a British citizen of Turkish descent, had not settled on any firm attack plan, but had been considering a range of potential options, including a Mumbai style attack in the UK. More »

  • Student cleared of terror plot
    Student cleared of terror plot Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    A British law student has been cleared of targeting Tony Blair and his wife Cherie as part of a terrorist plot, following the UK's first secret terror case. More »

  • IRA Suspect Letters 'Shouldn't Have Been Sent'
    IRA Suspect Letters 'Shouldn't Have Been Sent' Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    The sending of "comfort letters" to alleged fugitives as part of the Northern Ireland peace process was "questionably unlawful", according to a Commons committee. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was summoned to appear, told them the peace process would "probably have collapsed" without the "on-the-runs" scheme. More »

  • Why Were IRA Suspects Sent 'Comfort Letters'?
    Why Were IRA Suspects Sent 'Comfort Letters'? Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    In 2000, Tony Blair asked Gerry Adams to provide names for consideration by the Attorney General, police and Director of Public Prosecution. In 2007, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) began reviewing the cases of those wanted in connection with terrorist offences to establish if there were grounds for arrest. Peter Hain MP, then Northern Ireland Secretary, wanted the scheme kept secret but the PSNI prepared a media statement for use in the event of it becoming public knowledge. When he produced a letter, stating that he was not wanted by the PSNI or any other police force, the judge ruled that the Donegal man could not be prosecuted. More »

  • Britain's top court to rule on Prince Charles' government letters
    Britain's top court to rule on Prince Charles' government letters Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top court will rule next week whether "frank" letters sent by Prince Charles to government ministers should be made public, potentially embarrassing the heir-to-the-throne and raising the contentious issue of royal interference in politics. For years, the Guardian newspaper has sought access to 27 letters written by Charles to members of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour government between 2004 and 2005 under the country's freedom of information laws. The Court of Appeal decided last year that a gagging order imposed by the country's former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who had called the letters "particularly frank", was unlawful. Grieve had said any perception that Charles had disagreed with ministers "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 »

  • Blair not forced out of Mideast role
    Blair not forced out of Mideast role Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    Washington denied Monday there had been any move to push Tony Blair out of his role as envoy to the Middle East Quartet, as he appears poised to relinquish the post. More »

  • EU chooses Italian negotiator as EU Middle East envoy Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    The European Union chose on Monday a veteran Italian negotiator as the bloc's special representative to the Middle East, a decision EU officials said had no bearing on the role of former British prime minister Tony Blair in the region. The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, picked Fernando Gentilini, an EU official who has worked for NATO in Afghanistan, for the special representative role, and she said her choice was supported by EU foreign ministers. More »

  • Talks over Blair's Middle East role
    Talks over Blair's Middle East role Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    Tony Blair is in discussions about a change in his role in the Middle East. More »

  • Tony Blair 'to step down' as Middle East peace envoy
    Tony Blair 'to step down' as Middle East peace envoy Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Reports have emerged suggesting former British prime minister Tony Blair is preparing to step down from his controversial role as a peace envoy for the Quartet Middle East Peace Negotiators. The Quartet, also known as the Diplomatic Quartet or the Madrid Quartet, was formed following the 1991 Madrid Conference and comprises of representatives from the US, UN, EU and Russia. Blair was appointed as a Quartet envoy in 2007 following a request from the the administration of president George W. Bush, after he stepped down as British prime minister. More »

  • Tony Blair to step back from Middle East Quartet - FT
    Tony Blair to step back from Middle East Quartet - FT Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    (Reuters) - Tony Blair is relinquishing his post as the envoy for the Middle East Quartet to take a different role in the peace negotiations, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing people it said were familiar with the matter. Blair, at the helm of the Quartet for nearly eight years, intends to reshape his role in the Quartet and remain part of the peace process, the report said.(http://on.ft.com/1Bmvqj4) The former prime minister of the UK met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and spoke to Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, to discuss a possible job change, the paper said. His role is likely to be more regional and he will continue to work on the Palestinian economy, the source added.  The Middle East Quartet, comprising the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, has been seeking to mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2002. More »

  • Blair poised to step back from Mideast role: FT
    Blair poised to step back from Mideast role: FT Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Tony Blair is poised to step back from his role with the diplomatic Middle East Quartet, the Financial Times reported Sunday, citing several people familiar with the situation. More »

  • Blair urges teaching of tolerance
    Blair urges teaching of tolerance Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Young people need an education that will give them an "open-minded" view of the world, Tony Blair has said. More »

  • Led by the Queen, Britain commemorates end of Afghan war
    Led by the Queen, Britain commemorates end of Afghan war Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth joined army top brass and relatives of British soldiers who died in Afghanistan at a commemoration service at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Friday, marking the end of 13 years of British military operations in the country. Also among the congregation was Tony Blair, who as prime minister in 2001 took Britain into the U.S.-led coalition that invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban government in response to the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Britain lost 453 servicemen and women in Afghanistan out of the 140,000 who served there over the years. The government says the long war stopped Afghanistan from being used as a safe haven for militants to plan attacks on British streets, and that Afghanistan is now a safer and more prosperous country than it was before. More »

  • Cherie Blair slated for Renault's board seat
    Cherie Blair slated for Renault's board seat Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    PARIS (Reuters) - Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, could land a seat on the board of directors of French carmaker Renault next month. The proposal to name Blair to a four-year mandate at Renault's April 30 annual shareholders meeting is part of a list of resolutions published by Renault on Friday on France's Official Bulletin (BALO). A lawyer, Cherie Blair is the founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Blaise Robinson) More »

  • Would-Be Labour MP Refuses Blair's Cash
    Would-Be Labour MP Refuses Blair's Cash Sun, Mar 8, 2015

    A Labour parliamentary candidate has rejected a £1,000 donation from former prime minister Tony Blair. Mr Blair has pledged more than £100,000 to help Labour win May's General Election, with £1,000 going to local campaigns in 106 key battleground seats. However, Lesley Brennan, Labour's candidate in Dundee East, said her constituency would not be accepting the millionaire politician's money. She tweeted: "Received donation from Tony Blair. More »

  • Blair cash for Labour candidates
    Blair cash for Labour candidates Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Tony Blair has donated more than £100,000 to help Labour's election campaign, with the money going to key battleground seats. More »

  • Prescott Makes 'Thumping' Return To Frontline
    Prescott Makes 'Thumping' Return To Frontline Sun, Feb 22, 2015

    John Prescott is to return to frontline politics ahead of the General Election after Ed Miliband appointed him a climate change adviser. He wants Lord Prescott to work on an agreement in the run-up to a crucial United Nations summit in Paris at the end of the year. Mr Miliband said he was inspired to appoint the life peer because of his experience in getting an agreement at the landmark Kyoto Protocol in 1997. Lord Prescott became known during the premiership of Tony Blair for his pugnacious style and is considered a formidable negotiator. More »

  • Message to donors and Tony Blair: Give Gaza its future
    Message to donors and Tony Blair: Give Gaza its future Sun, Feb 22, 2015

    Chris Gunness of UNRWA says Gazans are freezing to death as international community continues to fail 900,000 children. More »

  • British business takes fright at prospect of a Miliband government
    British business takes fright at prospect of a Miliband government Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    By Kate Holton and William James LONDON (Reuters) - British opposition leader Ed Miliband has so alarmed business executives with his talk of 'asset strippers' and 'tax dodgers' that many want a Conservative win at the election, even if it carries the risk of an exit from Europe. Representatives of some of Britain's biggest firms accuse the Labour party leader of demonising big business as a way to align himself with ordinary voters before the May 7 election. As a result, executives are backing David Cameron's Conservatives, even though that entails a referendum on Europe before the end of 2017, potentially deterring companies from investing in Britain and, if there is a vote to leave, disrupting trade with the 500 million-strong EU. "On the one hand we have Labour ... that seems to believe that bashing business will be good business at the ballot box, but you don't have a referendum," Martin Sorrell, CEO of the world's largest advertising agency WPP and an employer of 179,000 people, told Reuters.     "On the other you have the Conservatives who tend to be more attuned to business but have a commitment to a referendum." British business has long aligned itself with the centre-right Conservatives, but that changed under Tony Blair, Labour's most successful leader, who embarked on a "prawn cocktail offensive" to build relations with Britain's boardrooms before winning three elections starting in 1997. More »

  • Serbia hires ex-foe Blair as advisor
    Serbia hires ex-foe Blair as advisor Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    Serbia has hired Tony Blair to work for Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who once served in the same regime that was targeted by NATO air strikes advocated by the then British leader in 1999. More »

  • Ant And Dec Admit Losing Faith In Labour
    Ant And Dec Admit Losing Faith In Labour Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have disclosed that despite feeling "staunchly Labour" they are finding it hard to commit their support to Ed Miliband. The pair, who famously hosted an election party after Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide victory, said they would vote for Labour if they could but were not sure what the party stood for any more. He said: "I voted Labour all my life but last election I voted Tory because I was thoroughly disillusioned with the Labour government. It comes on the same day David Axelrod, Barack Obama's former election adviser hired at great expense by Labour,  said he would not put Mr Miliband in the same category as the president. More »

  • Better Palestinian living standards vital for peace, Blair says
    Better Palestinian living standards vital for peace, Blair says Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal must lead to improved living conditions for Palestinians to prevent violence between the two from erupting again, Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair said on Sunday. "The last conflict left Gaza devastated and its people more downtrodden and impoverished," Blair said in Gaza, the site of the July-August war between the territory's Islamist militants and Israel. "I am extremely concerned that, if we leave Gaza in the state it is in, you have another eruption in violence and then we are back into a further catastrophe," Blair added. He said a successful peace drive required "a broad and a profound improvement in the daily life of Palestinians ... unified Palestinian politics ... (and) an enhanced role for the region in alliance with the international community." Blair said Hamas, the Palestinian faction that runs Gaza, had to declare whether it wanted a peace deal with Israel. More »

  • Blair warns of 'further catastrophe' in Gaza
    Blair warns of 'further catastrophe' in Gaza Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair on Sunday warned during a visit to the Gaza Strip of "another eruption" in the Palestinian enclave devastated from last summer's conflict with Israel. More »

  • Blair calls for 'new approach' on visit to Gaza Strip Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — International Mideast envoy Tony Blair said Sunday the world has forsaken the Gaza Strip and called for a new approach to lifting up the war-battered territory. More »

  • Lung Cancer 'Breathalyser' To Go On Trial
    Lung Cancer 'Breathalyser' To Go On Trial Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    A "breathalyser" that can diagnose lung cancer will be used in two NHS hospitals this summer as part of a £1m clinical trial. The device was originally invented by engineer Billy Boyle to detect explosives in airports and on the battlefield, but he refocused on medical applications after his wife Kate Gross, then 34, was diagnosed with colon cancer in October 2012 . Mrs Gross, who after leaving Oxford University had become a high-flying civil servant, advising prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, was given a 5% chance of survival. More »

  • Blair 'will help Labour campaign'
    Blair 'will help Labour campaign' Sat, Feb 7, 2015

    Ed Miliband has been promised the full co-operation of Tony Blair during the general election campaign, it was reported as Labour maintained a slim poll lead despite a week of spats with business leaders. More »