Latest Tony Blair news

EU seeks to bolster Middle East Quartet via Arab involvement

By Luke Baker and Adrian Croft JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - High-level discussions are underway on increasing involvement …

  • 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 »

  • Iraq War Inquiry: Sir John Chilcot faces grilling from MPs over delayed rep …
    Iraq War Inquiry: Sir John Chilcot faces grilling from MPs over delayed rep … Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    Sir John Chilcot will face a grilling from MPs today after criticisms of delays to his much awaited report into the 2003 Iraq War. The investigation looked into the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and interviewed former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as well as military commanders and diplomats. Chilcot will appear before the Foreign Affairs Committee to explain to MPs the "obstacles which remain". Chilcot also told David Cameron that agreement had been reached on the publication of details from notes and conversations between Tony Blair and George Bush. More »

  • Will Miliband's Attack On Boots Boss Win Votes?
    Will Miliband's Attack On Boots Boss Win Votes? Tue, Feb 3, 2015

    Those are the two key questions raised by the intervention of Boots acting chief executive Stefano Pessina, who warned Ed Miliband would be a "catastrophe" for Britain. The Labour leader gave a strongly worded and very personal response at the Sky News Stand Up Be Counted event on Monday in which he attacked the business leader as a tax avoider. When Lord Rose, the former chief executive of Marks and Spencer and Tory peer, added to the row, they were quick to dismiss him. Tony Blair won a series of elections on the back of a New Labour mantra in which he reached out to the top of industry. More »

  • Labour Pledges Home Rule Bill For Scotland
    Labour Pledges Home Rule Bill For Scotland Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    A new Home Rule Bill for Scotland will be introduced within 100 days if Labour wins the General Election. Ed Miliband made the promise ahead of a campaign visit to Scotland, saying devolution would be "one of the first things on our agenda". Referring to former Labour prime minister Tony Blair's establishment of the Scottish Parliament after his 1997 election victory, Mr Miliband said: "Just as in 1997, devolution will be one of the first things on our agenda for the next Labour government. More »

  • The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Ukulele
    The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Ukulele Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    With its chunk-a-chunk sound, whispery nylon strings, and diminutive body, the ukulele is having a moment. Zooey Deschanel strums one while crooning sweetly with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tony Blair disrupts Labour Party conventions with one. When Eddie Vedder impulse-bought one on a trip to Hawaii, he was compelled to record a whole album of Ukulele Songs. More »

  • Blair's letter of thanks to Gaddafi
    Blair's letter of thanks to Gaddafi Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    Tony Blair wrote to then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to thank him for the "excellent co-operation" between the two countries' counter-terrorism agencies at a time when they were allegedly collaborating in efforts to send dissidents back to the North African country. More »

  • Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings show ignorance still biggest weapon of mass d …
    Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings show ignorance still biggest weapon of mass d … Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    Related Articles Tony Blair: Better education will stop religion fuelling conflicts Paris: Four charged with assisting kosher supermarket gunman Amedy Coulibaly Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings show ignorance still biggest weapon of mass destruction More »

  • Jews, Muslims, Christians tackle religious violence at Davos
    Jews, Muslims, Christians tackle religious violence at Davos Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    What do a rabbi, an archbishop, a top Islamic academic and former British prime minister Tony Blair have in common? More »

  • Iraq War Report Delayed For 'Some Months'
    Iraq War Report Delayed For 'Some Months' Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, chairman Sir John Chilcot said "very substantial progress" has been made in the inquiry, but there was "no realistic prospect" it could be published before May and that completion of the work would take "some further months". Sir John said he had reached an agreement on the details of notes and conversations between former prime minister Tony Blair and US president George W Bush, which will be published in the report. The report has been delayed by disagreement over the release of the confidential messages, but the agreement means the "gist" of the communications would be published after Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood blocked the publication of the full exchanges. Sir John added that the "Maxwellisation process" - the procedure where individuals due to be criticised in an official report are sent details of the criticisms in advance so they can respond prior to its publication - was currently underway into the inquiry's draft report. More »

  • Chilcot delay not my doing - Blair
    Chilcot delay not my doing - Blair Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    Tony Blair insisted he was "absolutely and emphatically" not responsible for delaying a key report into Britain's role in the Iraq war and accused others of seeking to use the controversy to win votes. More »

  • Iraq Inquiry: The Key Points Explained
    Iraq Inquiry: The Key Points Explained Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    Disagreements over confidential messages between then prime minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush have delayed the publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War. More »

  • Tony Blair pressured over high-paid consultancies
    Tony Blair pressured over high-paid consultancies Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    An MP has launched a campaign to force former prime minister Tony Blair to reveal the sources of his income after reports of the former leader working for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. More »

  • Sunday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • British hacker linked to attack on Pentagon Twitter feed - sources
    British hacker linked to attack on Pentagon Twitter feed - sources Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The "CyberCaliphate" hacking group that attacked a Twitter account belonging to the Pentagon on Monday was founded by a Briton who was once jailed for hacking the personal address book of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to government sources and private sector security experts. U.S. and European government sources said investigators strongly believe that Junaid Hussain, 20, was the leader of CyberCaliphate, though they do not know if he was personally involved in hacking the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. ... More »

  • Blair: Sorry Over IRA Fugitive Letter Blunder
    Blair: Sorry Over IRA Fugitive Letter Blunder Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    Tony Blair has said the Northern Ireland peace process would have collapsed if he had not agreed to send "letters of comfort" to IRA terror suspects. More »

  • Blair defends IRA letters as vital for NIreland peace
    Blair defends IRA letters as vital for NIreland peace Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    Former British prime minister Tony Blair apologised Tuesday for failings in the scheme that led to an IRA bomb suspect walking free, but insisted peace could not have been achieved in Northern Ireland without it. More »

  • OTRs scheme 'key to peace process'
    OTRs scheme 'key to peace process' Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    Tony Blair has said the On The Runs (OTRs) scheme for fugitive IRA members probably prevented Northern Ireland's fragile peace process from collapsing. More »

  • Jay Leno, Tony Blair to speak at U.S. Republican retreat
    Jay Leno, Tony Blair to speak at U.S. Republican retreat Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republicans, two weeks into controlling both houses of Congress, have invited comedian Jay Leno and former Prime Minister Tony Blair to speak at their annual retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania, party aides said on Tuesday. The closed-door Republican gathering will be held on Thursday and Friday at Hershey Lodge, near Hersheypark, the chocolate company's family theme park in central Pennsylvania. ... More »

  • Blair apologises for error that saw Irish bomb suspect go free
    Blair apologises for error that saw Irish bomb suspect go free Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair on Tuesday defended a scheme informing Irish nationalist militants they were no longer wanted by police, but apologised that such a letter was wrongly sent to a man wanted over a deadly car bombing in London. Suspected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) received the letters as part of a 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of sectarian violence over Britain's rule of Northern Ireland that cost 3,600 lives. ... More »

  • Blair plea for strong leadership
    Blair plea for strong leadership Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    It will be for British voters to decide whether Ed Miliband has the necessary leadership qualities to be prime minister, Tony Blair has said. More »

  • Letters Of Comfort: 8 Things You Need To Know
    Letters Of Comfort: 8 Things You Need To Know Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    Sinn Fein thought fugitives should be allowed to return without fear of arrest but the British government's attempt to devise a formal scheme was opposed by Unionists and, ironically, by Sinn Fein because the arrangement would have included British soldiers. In 2000, Tony Blair asked Gerry Adams to provide names to be considered 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 leaking. More »

  • Left turn could cost Labour the 2015 election - Blair
    Left turn could cost Labour the 2015 election - Blair Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Ed Miliband, leader of Britain's opposition, has damaged his chances of winning next May's national election by steering his Labour party too far to the left, former Labour prime minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday. The criticism from one of Labour's most successful leaders highlights policy divisions within the party and doubts over Miliband's ability to win a close-fought election race against Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. ... More »

  • Miliband aides dismiss Blair claim
    Miliband aides dismiss Blair claim Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    Allies of Ed Miliband have rallied around him after former prime minister Tony Blair appeared to cast doubt on Labour's chances of success at the general election. More »

  • Blair Denies Being Sceptical Of Labour Hopes
    Blair Denies Being Sceptical Of Labour Hopes Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    Tony Blair has denied being sceptical about Labour's General Election chances after giving an interview in which he indicated he thought the party was heading in the wrong direction. More »

  • Blair's doubts over Labour poll win
    Blair's doubts over Labour poll win Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    Tony Blair has cast doubt on whether Labour can win the general election operating on Ed Miliband's "traditional left-wing" platform. More »

  • Blair Summoned Over NI 'On-The-Runs' Scheme
    Blair Summoned Over NI 'On-The-Runs' Scheme Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    Tony Blair has been summoned to appear before MPs investigating a controversial scheme launched by his government to allow Republican terror suspects to escape prosecution. More »

  • Gordon Brown's 'brilliance' stopped Tony Blair from sacking New …
    Gordon Brown's 'brilliance' stopped Tony Blair from sacking New … Tue, Dec 2, 2014

    Gordon Brown's "brilliance" stopped Tony Blair from sacking the Scot from his position as Chancellor, according to Alistair Campbell. More »

  • Anger Over Tony Blair's Anti-Poverty Award
    Anger Over Tony Blair's Anti-Poverty Award Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    Save the Children has been criticised by charity workers for giving Tony Blair an award for his anti-poverty work. More »