Latest Tony Blair news

  • Charles' letters show concern for troops and toothfish
    Charles' letters show concern for troops and toothfish Wed, May 13, 2015

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Charles wrote to ministers on issues ranging from resources for British troops in Iraq to the fate of the Patagonian Toothfish, according to private letters published on Wednesday against government wishes. The 27 letters to and from the 66-year-old heir to the throne were released after the government lost a decade-long legal battle to stop their publication on the grounds they might cast doubt over the future king's political neutrality. In one letter to former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004, he queries delays in the procurement of military helicopters. More »

  • Labour Unveils Shadow Cabinet To Take On Tories
    Labour Unveils Shadow Cabinet To Take On Tories Mon, May 11, 2015

    Tony Blair's Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, is to reprise his role, it has been announced, as Labour unveils its shadow cabinet. It means the Labour grandee will go head to head with Michael Gove as he sets about dismantling New Labour's Human Rights' Act and will be in post for the publication of the Chilcot report into the decision to go to war in Iraq. Lord Falconer, who was Lord Chancellor from 2003-2007, will take on the role of shadow lord chancellor and shadow secretary of state for justice. More »

  • David Miliband says won't run for Labour leadership
    David Miliband says won't run for Labour leadership Mon, May 11, 2015

    Former foreign minister David Miliband said on Monday he would not put himself forward to run Britain's opposition Labour Party and criticised his brother Ed, the outgoing leader, for allowing himself to be seen as taking the party too far back to the left. Ed Miliband, who beat his older and better known brother in a 2010 Labour leadership contest, quit on Friday after the party suffered a heavy election defeat. "I'm clearly not a candidate in this leadership election ... The commitment I have to the job I have got doesn't change as a result of the election," David Miliband, who left the British parliament in 2013 and now runs an aid agency in New York, said in a BBC interview. Ed Miliband was widely seen as having steered the party leftwards from the centrist "New Labour" of Tony Blair, who won three elections in a row to be prime minister from 1997 to 2007. More »

  • Labour took wrong path and must return to centre, grandees say
    Labour took wrong path and must return to centre, grandees say Sun, May 10, 2015

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - The Labour Party must return to the political centre ground and acknowledge the aspirations of millions of voters it ignored in its election campaign, senior figures said on Sunday, as the party's crushing defeat hit home. The Conservatives, who during their five years in coalition with the Liberal Democrats imposed huge public spending cuts, won a surprise overall majority of 331 seats in parliament and are now forming a single-party government. Labour leader Ed Miliband, widely seen as having steered the party leftwards from former Prime Minister Tony Blair's centrist "New Labour", resigned on Friday after the party won just 232 seats. Blair, who won three elections in a row to be prime minister from 1997 to 2007, wrote in The Observer newspaper that Labour should be more inclusive and aspirational -- comments echoed by one of the frontrunners to replace Miliband, Chuka Umunna. More »

  • Sunday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • Blair: Labour must reclaim centre
    Blair: Labour must reclaim centre Sat, May 9, 2015

    Labour must reclaim the political centre ground if the party is to recover from its crushing general election defeat, Tony Blair has warned. More »

  • Whoever triumphs in UK election, it won't be the press 'wot won it& … Mon, May 4, 2015

    By Paul Sandle and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid famously crowed "It was the Sun wot won it" in 1992, claiming its support had swayed 10 million readers to back John Major's Conservatives to an unexpected election victory. In the three elections that followed, the rightwing paper backed the other side, helping to deliver victories for Tony Blair's newly pro-business Labour Party. In a move that would have been unheard of a few years ago, opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband gave an interview to Russell Brand, a comedian with 9.6 million Twitter followers and his own YouTube channel. Miliband even tweaked Murdoch during the interview, saying the Australian-born magnate no longer had the power he once had: "The British people have a lot more sense than some of these papers give them credit for." Comparing Brand to Murdoch, Charlie Beckett, media professor at the London School of Economics, said Miliband's move made sense: "Russell may get better cut through than Rupert." ERA HAS GONE David Yelland, a former editor of the Sun and deputy editor of Murdoch's New York Post, acknowledged that press barons hold less sway than they once did. More »

  • Miliband Bids For Votes In Brand's Kitchen
    Miliband Bids For Votes In Brand's Kitchen Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Ed Miliband has told Russell Brand he's not looking for Blair and Obama-style euphoria and if he comes to power "it ain't gonna be like that". In a much-publicised interview, Mr Miliband attempted to convince the comedian, who has long preached voting is a waste of time, that it is important to put a cross in a box on polling day and that politics can deliver change. During a 15-minute exchange on Brand's YouTube channel, the Labour leader made his bid to younger voters in what he has called the "most important election of our lifetime". The Labour leader said most people were over the Tony Blair, Barack Obama-style euphoria and no longer believed in the idea that one man would come along and "life would totally turn upside down". More »

  • Nazarbayev: Kazakhstan's moderniser with an authoritarian streak
    Nazarbayev: Kazakhstan's moderniser with an authoritarian streak Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    A shepherd's son who counts former British prime minister Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin among his admirers, Kazakhstan's Nursultan Nazarbayev has overseen two decades of change in his Central Asian country, while remaining entrenched himself. More »

  • Special Report - British voters heading for a Disunited Kingdom
    Special Report - British voters heading for a Disunited Kingdom Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    By Richard Woods and Estelle Shirbon GLOUCESTER, England (Reuters) - Like millions of other British voters, Karl Wakeman supported Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives in the 1980s and then Tony Blair’s New Labour in the late 1990s. In his eyes, the last Labour government bungled its handling of the European Union, mass immigration and the country’s finances. So on May 7 he’s going to vote for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a populist group that deplores the EU and mass immigration. Though UKIP won just 3.1 percent of the votes in the 2010 election, polls suggest it could win 13 percent in 2015, draining support from the Conservatives and, to a lesser extent, from Labour. More »

  • Miliband: All NHS Workers Must Speak English
    Miliband: All NHS Workers Must Speak English Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    Ed Miliband has attempted to convince voters the party has learnt from its past mistakes on immigration by unveiling tough new measures to tackle the issue. Mr Miliband admitted Labour had made errors in 2004 under Tony Blair that left "working people" facing "dramatic changes in their communities that were not planned or properly prepared for". Unveiling a five-point policy at an event in Wirral, the Labour leader said he would ensure that all NHS workers would be "required to speak English to a sufficient standard so they can care effectively for patients". He said a Labour government would legislate to give healthcare regulators the power to enforce the rule. More »

  • Cameron lines up pensions expert as minister
    Cameron lines up pensions expert as minister Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    Prime Minister David Cameron said on Saturday that he would appoint a well-known pensions expert, Ros Altmann, as a financial services minister if he returns to power after next month's election. Altmann, 59, frequently comments in British media on pensions and has worked as an advisor to Cameron's government and that of Tony Blair. She is also a former director-general of Saga Group , which provides insurance and travel services to over-50s. Pension reform has been a major policy for Cameron's government, which has removed some of the restrictions on how older people can cash in their personal pension savings. More »

  • 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 »