HOME

TheInfoList




Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a ...
from 1997 to 2007 and
Leader of the Labour PartyThe title Leader of the Labour Party may refer to: *Leader of the Labour Party (Ireland) *Leader of the Labour Party (Netherlands) *Leader of the Labour Party (UK) **Leader of the Scottish Labour Party *Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party See als ...
from 1994 to 2007. On his resignation he was appointed Special Envoy of the
Quartet on the Middle East The Quartet on the Middle East or Middle East Quartet, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the Israeli ...
, a diplomatic post which he held until 2015. He has been the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change since 2016. As prime minister, many of his policies reflected a
centrist Centrism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, su ...

centrist
"
Third Way The Third Way is a akin to that attempts to reconcile and politics by advocating a varying synthesis of economic platforms with some social policies. The Third Way was created as a re-evaluation of political policies within various ce ...

Third Way
" political philosophy. He is the only living former Labour leader to have led the party to a general election victory and one of only two in history, the other being
Harold Wilson James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, (11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995) was a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Harold Wilson
, to form three
majority government A majority government refers to one or multiple governing parties that hold an absolute majority of seats in legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of s ...
s. Blair was born in
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
; his father,
Leo Leo is the Latin word for "lion". Leo or LEO may refer to: * Leo (astrology), an astrological sign * Leo (constellation), a constellation in the sky Arts and entertainment * Leo (band), a Missouri-based rock band that was founded in Clevelan ...
, was a
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialis ...
and academic. After attending the independent school
Fettes College Fettes College () is a co-educational independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of ...

Fettes College
, he studied law at
St John's College, Oxford St John's College is a constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education ...
, and became a barrister. He became involved in Labour politics and was elected
Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
for
Sedgefield Sedgefield is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collec ...
in
1983 The year 1983 saw both the contested beginning of the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and d ...
. He supported moving the party to the centre of British politics in an attempt to help it win power (it had been out of government since
1979 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ...
). He was appointed to the party's
frontbench In many parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislature, legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electora ...
in 1988 and became
Shadow Home Secretary In British politics The United Kingdom is a unitary state with Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolution that is governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the Monarchy of the Uni ...
in 1992. He became
Leader of the Opposition The leader of the opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the Opposition (parliamentary), largest party not in government in a parliamentary democracy. The leader of the opposition is seen as the alternative prime minister, premi ...
on his election as Labour Party leader in 1994, following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under Blair, the party used the phrase "
New Labour New Labour is a period in the history of the British Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua ...
" to distance itself from previous Labour politics and the traditional idea of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. Despite opposition from Labour's left-wing, he abolished
Clause IV Clause IV is part of the constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human ...
, the party's formal commitment to the
nationalisation Nationalization (or nationalisation) is the process of transforming privately-owned assets into public assets by bringing them under the State ownership, public ownership of a Government, national government or State (polity) , state. Nationa ...
of the economy, weakened
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
influence in the party, and committed to the
free market In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of pl ...
and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
. In 1997, the Labour Party won its largest landslide
general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
victory in its history. Blair became the country's youngest leader since 1812 and remains the party's longest-serving occupant of the office. Labour won two more general elections under his leadership—in
2001 2001 was designated as International Year of Volunteers. Events January * January 1 – Kolkata (in West Bengal, India) officially restores its name from Calcutta. * January 9 – iTunes is launched. * January 10 – The U.S. ...
, in which it won another landslide victory (albeit with the lowest turnout since
1918 This year is noted for the end of the First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed co ...

1918
), and in
2005 2005 was designated as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education and the International Year of MicrocreditImage:YOmicrocredit2005.jpg, right International Year of Microcredit is a special event of the United Nations which took pl ...
, with a substantially reduced majority. He resigned as prime minister and Labour Party leader in 2007 and was succeeded by
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
, who had been his
chancellor of the Exchequer The chancellor of the Exchequer, often abbreviated to the chancellor, is a senior minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and the chief executive officer of HM Treasury, Her Majesty's Treasury. As one of the four Grea ...
since 1997. The fraught relationship between Blair and Brown has been the subject of much controversy and speculation since
1994 The year 1994 was designated as the "International Year of the Family The year 1994 was proclaimed the International Year of the Family by the United Nations General Assembly. Its objectives are promoted by the United Nations Programme on ...
. Blair's governments enacted constitutional reforms, removing most
hereditary peer The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of November 2021, there are 809 hereditary peers: 30 dukes (including six royal dukes), 34 marquesses, 191 earls, 111 viscounts, and 443 barons (disregarding subsidiary ...
s from the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
, while also establishing the UK's Supreme Court and reforming the office of
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
(thereby separating judicial powers from the legislative and executive branches). His government held
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...

referendum
s in which Scottish and Welsh electorates voted in favour of
devolved administration Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a Subnational administrative division, subnational level, such as a regional or local government, local level. It is a form of ad ...
, paving the way for the establishment of the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, Unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyro ...

Scottish Parliament
and
Welsh Assembly Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is Countries of the United Kingdom, part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, ...
in 1999. He was also involved in negotiating the
Good Friday Agreement The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: or ), is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a po ...
. His time in office occurred during a period of continued economic growth, but this became increasingly dependent on mounting debt. In 1997, his government gave the
Bank of England The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the Kingdom of England, English Government's banker, and still one of the bankers for t ...

Bank of England
powers to set interest rates autonomously, and he later oversaw a large increase in
public spending Government spending or expenditure includes all government consumption, investment, and transfer payments. In national income accounting, the acquisition by governments of goods and services for current use, to directly satisfy the individual or ...
, especially in healthcare and education. He championed
multiculturalism The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes r ...

multiculturalism
and, between 1997 and 2007, immigration rose considerably, especially after his government welcomed immigration from the new EU member states in 2004. This provided a cheap and flexible labour supply but also fuelled
Euroscepticism Euroscepticism, also spelled as Euroskepticism or EU-scepticism, means criticism of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a ...
, especially among some of his party's core voters. His other social policies were generally
progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * Congressional Progressive Caucus, members within the Democratic Party in the United States Congress dedicated to th ...
; he introduced the
National Minimum Wage Act 1998 The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 creates a minimum wage across the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
, the
Human Rights Act 1998 The Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) is an Act of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation, are texts of law passed by the Legislature, legislative body of a jurisdiction (often a parliament or council). In most ...
and the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations ...
, and in 2004 allowed gay couples to enter into
civil partnerships A civil union (also known as a civil partnership) is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant some or all of the rights of marriage ...
. However, he declared himself "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" and oversaw increasing incarceration rates and new anti-social behaviour legislation, despite contradictory evidence about the change in crime rates. Blair oversaw British interventions in
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...
(1999) and
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 co ...
(2000), which were generally perceived as successful. During the
War on Terror#REDIRECT War on terror The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism and U.S. War on Terror, is an international military campaign launched by the Federal government of the United States, United States government after the Septe ...
, he supported the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration and ensured that the British Armed Forces participated in the
War in Afghanistan War in Afghanistan, Afghan war, or Afghan civil war may refer to: * Conquest of Afghanistan by Alexander the Great (330 BC – 327 BC) *Muslim conquests of Afghanistan The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari languag ...
from 2001 and, more controversially, the
2003 invasion of Iraq The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the first stage of the Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the ...
. Blair argued that the Saddam Hussein regime possessed an active
weapons of mass destruction A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a nuclear, radiological File:Radioactive.svg, upThe international symbol for types and levels of ionizing radiation (radioactivity) that are unsafe for Radiation shield, unshielded humans. Radiation, ...
(WMD) program, but no stockpiles of WMDs or an active WMD program were ever found in Iraq. The
Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
became increasingly unpopular among the British public, and he was criticised by opponents and (in 2016) the
Iraq Inquiry The Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot)7/7 bombings took place (2005) and introduced a range of anti-terror legislation. His legacy remains controversial, not least because of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Despite his electoral successes and reforms, he has also been criticised for his relationship with the media, centralisation of executive powers, and aspects of his social and economic policies.


Early years

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was born at Queen Mary Maternity Home in
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, on 6 May 1953. He was the second son of
Leo Leo is the Latin word for "lion". Leo or LEO may refer to: * Leo (astrology), an astrological sign * Leo (constellation), a constellation in the sky Arts and entertainment * Leo (band), a Missouri-based rock band that was founded in Clevelan ...
and Hazel () Blair. Leo Blair was the illegitimate son of two entertainers and was adopted as a baby by
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia'' ...

Glasgow
shipyard worker James Blair and his wife, Mary. Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who moved to Glasgow in 1916. In 1923, he returned to (and later died in)
Ballyshannon Ballyshannon () is a town in County Donegal County Donegal ( ; ga, Contae Dhún na nGall) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, ...

Ballyshannon
,
County Donegal County Donegal ( ; ga, Contae Dhún na nGall) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William ...
, in
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
. In Ballyshannon, Corscadden's wife, Sarah Margaret (née Lipsett), gave birth above the family's grocery shop to Blair's mother, Hazel. Blair has an older brother, Sir William Blair, a High Court judge, and a younger sister, Sarah. Blair's first home was with his family at Paisley Terrace in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh. During this period, his father worked as a junior tax inspector whilst also studying for a law degree from the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply ...
. Blair's first relocation was when he was nineteen months old. At the end of 1954, Blair's parents and their two sons moved from Paisley Terrace to
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
,
South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Austral ...

South Australia
. His father lectured in law at the
University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide (informally Adelaide University) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization ...

University of Adelaide
. It was when in Australia that Blair's sister Sarah was born. The Blairs lived in the suburb of
Dulwich Dulwich ( ) is an area of south London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or mor ...
close to the university. The family returned to the United Kingdom in the summer of 1958. They lived for a time with Hazel's mother and stepfather (William McClay) at their home in
Stepps Stepps is a settlement in North Lanarkshire North Lanarkshire ( sco, North Lanrikshire; gd, Siorrachd Lannraig a Tuath) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the northeast of the City of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow's sub ...
on the outskirts of north-east Glasgow. Blair's father accepted a job as a lecturer at
Durham University , mottoeng = Her foundations are upon the holy hills ( Psalm 87:1) , established = (university status) , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an in ...

Durham University
, and thus moved the family to
Durham, England Durham ( ), also known as the City of Durham, is a cathedral city and civil parish in the County Durham (district), district and County Durham, county of Durham, England. The city is on the banks of the River Wear. The settlement was founded o ...

Durham, England
. Aged five, this marked the beginning of a long association Blair was to have with Durham. Since his childhood, Tony Blair has been a fan of
Newcastle United Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word ...
football club.


Education and legal career

With his parents basing their family in Durham, Blair attended the
Chorister School The Chorister School is a co-educational independent school for the 3 to 13 age range. It consists of a Pre-School (opened in September 2008), a pre-preparatory and Preparatory school (UK), preparatory day and boarding school in Durham, England, D ...
from 1961 to 1966. Aged 13, he was sent to spend his school term-time boarding at
Fettes College Fettes College () is a co-educational independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of ...

Fettes College
in Edinburgh from 1966 to 1971. Blair is reported to have hated his time at Fettes. His teachers were unimpressed with him; his biographer,
John Rentoul John Rentoul (born 1958) is a British journalist. He is the chief political commentator for ''The Independent ''The Independent'' is a British online newspaper that was established in 1986 as a national morning printed paper. Nicknamed th ...

John Rentoul
, reported that "All the teachers I spoke to when researching the book said he was a complete pain in the backside and they were very glad to see the back of him." Blair reportedly modelled himself on
Mick Jagger Sir Michael Philip Jagger (born 26 July 1943) is an English singer, songwriter, actor, and film producer who has achieved international fame as the lead vocalist and one of the founder members of the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones ...
, lead singer of
The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English band formed in London in 1962. Active for almost six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, heavier-drive ...

The Rolling Stones
. During his time there he met Charlie Falconer (a pupil at the rival
Edinburgh Academy The Edinburgh Academy is an Independent school (United Kingdom), independent day school in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was opened in 1824. The original building, on Henderson Row in the city's New Town, Edinburgh, New Town, is now part of the Se ...
), whom he later appointed
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
. Leaving Fettes College at the age of 18, Blair next spent a gap year in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
attempting to find fame as a rock music promoter. In 1972, at the age of 19, Blair matriculated at
St John's College, Oxford St John's College is a constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education ...
, reading
Jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of the propriety of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whol ...
for three years. As a student, he played guitar and sang in a rock band called Ugly Rumours, and performed some
stand-up comedy Stand-up comedy is a comedy Comedy (from the el, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humor Humour (Commonwealth English The use of the English language ...
, including parodying James T. Kirk as a character named ''Captain
Kink Kink or KINK may refer to: Common uses * Kink (sexuality), a colloquial term for non-normative sexual behavior * Kink, a curvature, bend, or twist Geography * Kink, Iran, a village in Iran * The Kink, a man-made geographic feature in remote easte ...
''. He was influenced by fellow student and
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
priest Peter Thomson, who awakened his religious faith and left-wing politics. While at Oxford, Blair has stated that he was briefly a
Trotskyist Trotskyism is the political ideology and branch of Marxism developed by Ukrainian-Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and by some other members of the Left Opposition and Fourth International. Trotsky self-identified as an Orthodox Marxism, orth ...
, after reading the first volume of
Isaac Deutscher Isaac Deutscher ( pl, Izaak Deutscher; 3 April 1907 – 19 August 1967) was a Polish Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity aff ...
's biography of
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Ukrainian ...

Leon Trotsky
, which was "like a light going on". He graduated from Oxford at the age of 22 in 1975 with a second-class Honours B.A. in jurisprudence. In 1975, while Blair was at Oxford, his mother Hazel died aged 52 of thyroid cancer, which greatly affected him. After Oxford, Blair then became a member of
Lincoln's Inn The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices ...

Lincoln's Inn
and was called to the Bar and became a pupil barrister. He met his future wife, (daughter of the actor Tony Booth) at the chambers founded by Derry Irvine (who was to be Blair's first Lord Chancellor), 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers.


Early political career

Blair joined the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975. In the early 1980s, he was involved in Labour politics in Hackney South and Shoreditch (UK Parliament constituency), Hackney South and Shoreditch, where he aligned himself with the "soft left" of the party. He put himself forward as a candidate for the London Borough of Hackney, Hackney council elections of 1982 in Queensbridge ward, a safe Labour area, but was not selected. In 1982, Blair was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the safe Conservative Party (UK), Conservative seat of Beaconsfield (UK Parliament constituency), Beaconsfield, where there was a forthcoming by-election. Although Blair lost the 1982 Beaconsfield by-election, Beaconsfield by-election and Labour's share of the vote fell by 10 percentage points, he acquired a profile within the party. Despite his defeat, William Russell, political correspondent for ''The Glasgow Herald'', described Blair as "a very good candidate", while acknowledging that the result was "a disaster" for the Labour Party. In contrast to his later centrism, Blair made it clear in a letter he wrote to Labour leader Michael Foot in July 1982 (published in 2006) that he had "come to Socialism through Marxism" and considered himself on the left. Like Tony Benn, Blair believed that "Labour right" was bankrupt: "Socialism ultimately must appeal to the better minds of the people. You cannot do that if you are tainted overmuch with a pragmatic period in power." Yet, he saw the hard left as no better, saying: With a general election due, Blair had not been selected as a candidate anywhere. He was invited to stand again in Beaconsfield (UK Parliament constituency), Beaconsfield, and was initially inclined to agree but was advised by his head of chambers Derry Irvine to find somewhere else which might be winnable. The situation was complicated by the fact that Labour was fighting a legal action against planned boundary changes, and had selected candidates on the basis of previous boundaries. When the legal challenge failed, the party had to rerun all selections on the new boundaries; most were based on existing seats, but unusually in County Durham a new
Sedgefield Sedgefield is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collec ...
constituency had been created out of Labour-voting areas which had no obvious predecessor seat. The selection for Sedgefield did not begin until after the 1983 United Kingdom general election, 1983 general election was called. Blair's initial inquiries discovered that the left was trying to arrange the selection for Les Huckfield, sitting MP for Nuneaton who was trying elsewhere; several sitting MPs displaced by boundary changes were also interested in it. When he discovered the Trimdon Labour Club, Trimdon branch had not yet made a nomination, Blair visited them and won the support of the branch secretary John Burton (political agent), John Burton, and with Burton's help was nominated by the branch. At the last minute, he was added to the shortlist and won the selection over Huckfield. It was the last candidate selection made by Labour before the election, and was made after the Labour Party had issued biographies of all its candidates ("Labour's Election Who's Who"). John Burton became Blair's election agent and one of his most trusted and longest-standing allies. Blair's election literature in the 1983 United Kingdom general election, 1983 general election endorsed left-wing policies that Labour advocated in the early 1980s. He called for Britain to leave the European Economic Community, EEC as early as the 1970s, though he had told his selection conference that he personally favoured continuing membership and voted "Yes" in the 1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, 1975 referendum on the subject. He opposed the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in 1986 but supported the ERM by 1989. He was a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, despite never strongly being in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Blair was helped on the campaign trail by soap opera actress Pat Phoenix, his father-in-law's girlfriend. At the age of thirty, he was elected as MP for Sedgefield in 1983; despite the party's landslide defeat at the general election. In his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 6 July 1983, Blair stated, "I am a socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for cooperation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality." Once elected, Blair's political ascent was rapid. He received his first Front bench, front-bench appointment in 1984 as assistant HM Treasury, Treasury spokesman. In May 1985, he appeared on BBC's ''Question Time (TV series), Question Time'', arguing that the Conservative Government's Public Order Act 1986, Public Order White Paper was a threat to civil liberties. Blair demanded an inquiry into the
Bank of England The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the Kingdom of England, English Government's banker, and still one of the bankers for t ...

Bank of England
's decision to rescue the collapsed Johnson Matthey bank in October 1985. By this time, Blair was aligned with the reforming tendencies in the party (headed by leader Neil Kinnock) and was promoted after the 1987 United Kingdom general election, 1987 election to the Shadow Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom), Trade and Industry team as spokesman on the City of London.


Leadership roles

In 1987, he stood for election to the Shadow Cabinet, receiving 71 votes. When Kinnock resigned after a fourth consecutive Conservative victory in the 1992 United Kingdom general election, 1992 general election, Blair became shadow home secretary under John Smith. The old guard argued that trends showed they were regaining strength under Smith's strong leadership. Meanwhile, the breakaway Social Democratic Party, SDP faction had merged with the Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Party; the resulting Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrats seemed to pose a major threat to the Labour base. Blair, the leader of the modernising faction, had an entirely different vision, arguing that the long-term trends had to be reversed. The Labour Party was too locked into a base that was shrinking, since it was based on the working-class, on trade unions, and on residents of subsidised council housing. The rapidly growing middle-class was largely ignored, especially the more ambitious working-class families. They aspired to middle-class status but accepted the Conservative argument that Labour was holding ambitious people back with its levelling-down policies. They increasingly saw Labour in terms defined by the opposition, regarding higher taxes and higher interest rates. The steps towards what would become New Labour were procedural but essential. Calling on the slogan "One member, one vote", John Smith (with limited input from Blair) secured an end to the trade union block vote for Westminster candidate selection at the 1993 conference. But Blair and the modernisers wanted Smith to go further still, and called for radical adjustment of Party goals by repealing "Clause IV," the historic commitment to nationalisation of industry. This would be achieved in 1995.


Leader of the Opposition

John Smith died suddenly in 1994 of a heart attack. Blair defeated John Prescott and Margaret Beckett in the 1994 Labour Party leadership election, subsequent leadership election and became
Leader of the Opposition The leader of the opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the Opposition (parliamentary), largest party not in government in a parliamentary democracy. The leader of the opposition is seen as the alternative prime minister, premi ...
. As is customary for the holder of that office, Blair was appointed a Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Councillor. Blair announced at the end of his speech at the 1994 Labour Party conference that he intended to replace
Clause IV Clause IV is part of the constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human ...
of the party's constitution with a new statement of aims and values. This involved the deletion of the party's stated commitment to "the common ownership of the means of production and exchange", which was widely interpreted as referring to wholesale
nationalisation Nationalization (or nationalisation) is the process of transforming privately-owned assets into public assets by bringing them under the State ownership, public ownership of a Government, national government or State (polity) , state. Nationa ...
. At a special conference in April 1995, the clause was replaced by a statement that the party is "democratic socialist", and Blair also claimed to be a "democratic socialist" himself in the same year. However, the move away from
nationalisation Nationalization (or nationalisation) is the process of transforming privately-owned assets into public assets by bringing them under the State ownership, public ownership of a Government, national government or State (polity) , state. Nationa ...
in the old Clause IV made many on the left-wing of the Labour Party feel that Labour was moving away from traditional socialist principles of nationalisation set out in 1918, and was seen by them as part of a shift of the party towards "
New Labour New Labour is a period in the history of the British Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua ...
". He inherited the Labour leadership at a time when the party was ascendant over the Conservatives in the opinion polls, since the Conservative government's reputation for monetary excellence record was left in tatters by the Black Wednesday economic disaster of September 1992. Blair's election as leader saw Labour support surge higher still in spite of the continuing economic recovery and fall in unemployment that the Conservative government (led by John Major) had overseen since the end of the 1990–92 Early 1990s recession, recession. At the 1996 Labour Party conference, Blair stated that his three top priorities on coming to office were "education, education, and education". Aided by the unpopularity of John Major's Conservative government (itself deeply divided over the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
), "New Labour" won a landslide victory at the 1997 United Kingdom general election, 1997 general election, ending eighteen years of Conservative Party rule, with the heaviest Conservative defeat since 1906 United Kingdom general election, 1906. According to diaries released by Paddy Ashdown, during Smith's leadership of the Labour Party, there were discussions with Ashdown about forming a coalition government if the next general election resulted in a hung parliament. Ashdown also claimed that Blair was a supporter of proportional representation (PR). In addition to Ashdown, Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrat MPs Menzies Campbell and Alan Beith were earmarked for places in the cabinet if a Labour-Lib Dem coalition was formed. Blair was forced to back down on these proposals because John Prescott and
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
opposed the PR system, and many members of the Shadow Cabinet were worried about concessions being made towards the Lib Dems. In the event, virtually every opinion poll since late-1992 put Labour ahead with enough support to form an overall majority.


Prime minister (1997–2007)

Blair became the prime minister of the United Kingdom on 1997 United Kingdom general election, 2 May 1997. Aged 43, Blair became the youngest person to become prime minister since Lord Liverpool became prime minister aged 42 in 1812. He was also the first prime minister born after World War II and the accession of Elizabeth II to the throne. With victories in 1997,
2001 2001 was designated as International Year of Volunteers. Events January * January 1 – Kolkata (in West Bengal, India) officially restores its name from Calcutta. * January 9 – iTunes is launched. * January 10 – The U.S. ...
, and
2005 2005 was designated as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education and the International Year of MicrocreditImage:YOmicrocredit2005.jpg, right International Year of Microcredit is a special event of the United Nations which took pl ...
, Blair was the Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, and the first and only person to date to lead the party to three consecutive general election victories.


Northern Ireland

His contribution towards assisting the Northern Ireland peace process by helping to negotiate the
Good Friday Agreement The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: or ), is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a po ...
(after 30 years of conflict) was widely recognised. Following the Omagh bombing on 15 August 1998, by members of the Real IRA opposed to the peace process, which killed 29 people and wounded hundreds, Blair visited the County Tyrone town and met with victims at Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.


Military intervention and the War on Terror

In his first six years in office, Blair ordered British troops into combat five times, more than any other prime minister in British history. This included Iraq in both Bombing of Iraq (December 1998), 1998 and Iraq War, 2003,
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...
(1999),
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 co ...
(2000) and War in Afghanistan (2001–present), Afghanistan (2001). The Kosovo War, which Blair had advocated on moral grounds, was initially a failure when it relied solely on air strikes; the threat of a ground offensive convinced Serbia's Slobodan Milošević to withdraw. Blair had been a major advocate for a ground offensive, which Bill Clinton was reluctant to do, and ordered that 50,000 soldiers – most of the available British Army – should be made ready for action. The following year, the limited Operation Palliser in Sierra Leone swiftly swung the tide against the rebel forces; before deployment, the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone had been on the verge of collapse. Palliser had been intended as an evacuation mission but David Richards, Baron Richards of Herstmonceux, Brigadier David Richards was able to convince Blair to allow him to expand the role; at the time, Richards' action was not known and Blair was assumed to be behind it. Blair ordered Operation Barras, a highly successful Special Air Service, SAS/Parachute Regiment (United Kingdom), Parachute Regiment strike to rescue hostages from a Sierra Leone rebel group. Journalist Andrew Marr has argued that the success of ground attacks, real and threatened, over air strikes alone was influential on how Blair planned the Iraq War, and that the success of the first three wars Blair fought "played to his sense of himself as a moral war leader". When asked in 2010 if the success of Palliser may have "embolden[ed] British politicians" to think of military action as a policy option, General Sir David Richards admitted there "might be something in that". From the start of the
War on Terror#REDIRECT War on terror The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism and U.S. War on Terror, is an international military campaign launched by the Federal government of the United States, United States government after the Septe ...
in 2001, Blair strongly supported the Foreign policy of the United States, foreign policy of George W. Bush, participating in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present), 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and
2003 invasion of Iraq The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the first stage of the Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the ...
. The invasion of Iraq was particularly controversial, as it attracted widespread public opposition and 139 of Blair's own MPs opposed it. As a result, he faced criticism over the policy itself and the circumstances of the decision. Alastair Campbell described Blair's statement that the intelligence on WMDs was "beyond doubt" as his "assessment of the assessment that was given to him." In 2009, Blair stated that he would have supported removing Saddam Hussein from power even in the face of proof that he had no such weapons. Playwright Harold Pinter and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused Blair of war crimes. Testifying before the
Iraq Inquiry The Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot)

Relationship with Parliament

One of Blair's first acts as prime minister was to replace the then twice-weekly 15-minute sessions of Prime Minister's Questions held on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a single 30-minute session on Wednesdays. In addition to PMQs, Blair held monthly press conferences at which he fielded questions from journalists and – from 2002 – broke precedent by agreeing to give evidence twice yearly before the most senior Commons select committee, the Liaison Committee. Blair was sometimes perceived as paying insufficient attention both to the views of his own Cabinet colleagues and to those of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons. His style was sometimes criticised as not that of a prime minister and head of government, which he was, but of a president and head of state – which he was not. Blair was accused of excessive reliance on spin (political), spin. He was the first UK prime minister to have been formally questioned by police, though not under caution, while still in office.


Events before resignation

As the casualties of the Iraq War mounted, Blair was accused of misleading Parliament, and his popularity dropped dramatically. Labour's overall majority at the 2005 United Kingdom general election, 2005 general election was reduced from 167 to 66 seats. As a combined result of the Blair–Brown pact, Iraq war and low approval ratings, pressure built up within the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
for Blair to resign. Over the summer of 2006 many MPs, including usually supportive MPs, criticised Blair for not calling for a ceasefire in the 2006 Israel–Lebanon conflict. On 7 September 2006, Blair publicly stated he would step down as party leader by the time of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference held 10–13 September 2007, having promised to serve a full term during the previous general election campaign. On 10 May 2007, during a speech at the Trimdon Labour Club, Blair announced his intention to resign as both Labour Party leader and prime minister. This triggered the 2007 Labour Party leadership election (UK), 2007 Labour Party leadership election, in which Brown was the only candidate for leader. At a special party conference in Manchester on 24 June 2007, Blair formally handed over the leadership of the Labour Party to
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
, who had been Chancellor of the Exchequer in Blair's three ministries. Blair tendered his resignation on 27 June 2007 and Brown assumed office during the same afternoon. Blair resigned from his Sedgefield (UK Parliament constituency), Sedgfield seat in the House of Commons (United Kingdom), House of Commons in the traditional form of accepting the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, to which he was appointed by
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
in one of the latter's last acts as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The resulting 2007 Sedgefield by-election, Sedgefield by-election was won by Labour's candidate, Phil Wilson (British politician), Phil Wilson. Blair decided not to issue a list of Resignation Honours, making him the first prime minister of the modern era not to do so.


Policies


Social reforms

In 2001, Blair said, "We are a Centre-left politics, left of centre party, pursuing economic prosperity and social justice as partners and not as opposites". Blair rarely applies such labels to himself, but he promised before the 1997 election that
New Labour New Labour is a period in the history of the British Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua ...
would govern "from the radical centre", and according to one lifelong Labour Party member, has always described himself as a social democracy, social democrat. However, in a 2007 opinion piece in the The Guardian, Guardian, left-wing commentator Neil Lawson described Blair as to the Centre-right politics, right of centre. A YouGov opinion poll in 2005 found that a small majority of British voters, including many
New Labour New Labour is a period in the history of the British Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua ...
supporters, placed Blair on the right of the political spectrum. The ''Financial Times'' on the other hand has argued that Blair is not conservative, but instead a populist. Critics and admirers tend to agree that Blair's electoral success was based on his ability to occupy the centre ground and appeal to voters across the political spectrum, to the extent that he has been fundamentally at odds with traditional Labour Party values. Some left-wing critics, such as Mike Marqusee in 2001, argued that Blair oversaw the final stage of a long term shift of the Labour Party to the right. There is some evidence that Blair's long term dominance of the centre forced his Conservative opponents to shift a long distance to the left to challenge his hegemony there. Leading Conservatives of the post-New Labour era hold Blair in high regard: George Osborne describes him as "the master", Michael Gove thought he had an "entitlement to conservative respect" in February 2003, while David Cameron reportedly maintained Blair as an informal adviser. Blair increased police powers by adding to the number of arrestable offences, compulsory United Kingdom National DNA Database, DNA recording and the use of dispersal orders. Under Blair's government the amount of new legislation increased which attracted criticism. He also introduced tough anti-terrorism and Identity Cards Act 2006, identity card legislation.


Economic policies

During his time as prime minister, Blair raised taxes; introduced a National Minimum Wage and some new employment rights (while keeping Margaret Thatcher's trade union reforms); introduced significant constitutional reforms; promoted new rights for gay people in the Civil Partnership Act 2004; and signed treaties integrating Britain more closely with the EU. He introduced substantial market-based reforms in the education and health sectors; introduced student Tuition fees in the United Kingdom, tuition fees and sought to reduce certain categories of welfare payments. He did not reverse the impact of the privatisation of British Rail, privatisation of the railways enacted by his predecessor John Major and instead strengthened regulation (by creating the Office of Rail Regulation) and limited fare rises to Retail price index, inflation +1%. Blair and Brown raised spending on the NHS and other public services, increasing spending from 39.9% of GDP to 48.1% in 2010–11. They pledged in 2001 to bring NHS spending to the levels of other European countries, and doubled spending in real terms to over £100 billion in England alone.


Immigration

Non-European immigration rose significantly during the period from 1997, not least because of the First Blair ministry, government's abolition of the primary purpose rule in June 1997. This change made it easier for UK residents to bring foreign spouses into the country. The former government advisor Andrew Neather in the ''London Evening Standard, Evening Standard'' stated that the deliberate policy of ministers from late 2000 until early 2008 was to open up the UK to mass migration. Neather later stated that his words had been twisted, saying: "The main goal was to allow in more migrant workers at a point when – hard as it is to imagine now – the booming economy was running up against skills shortages.... Somehow this has become distorted by excitable Right-wing newspaper columnists into being a "plot" to make Britain multicultural. There was no plot."


Environmental record

Blair criticised other governments for not doing enough to solve Global warming, global climate change. In a 1997 visit to the United States, he made a comment on "great industrialised nations" that fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Again in 2003, Blair went before the United States Congress and said that climate change "cannot be ignored", insisting "we need to go beyond even Kyoto Protocol, Kyoto." Blair and his party promised a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide. The Labour Party also claimed that by 2010 10% of the energy would come from renewable resources; however, it only reached 7% by that point. In 2000, Blair "flagged up" 100 million euros for green policies and urged environmentalists and businesses to work together.


Foreign policy

Blair built his foreign policy on basic principles (close ties with U.S. and E.U.) and added a new activist philosophy of "interventionism". In 2001 Britain joined the U.S. in the global war on terror. Blair forged friendships with several European leaders, including Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, Angela Merkel of Germany and later Nicolas Sarkozy of France. Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton, Blair formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush, particularly in the area of foreign policy. For his part, Bush lauded Blair and the UK. In his post-9/11 speech, for example, he stated that "America has no truer friend than Great Britain". The alliance between Bush and Blair seriously damaged Blair's standing in the eyes of Britons angry at American influence. Blair argued it was in Britain's interest to "protect and strengthen the bond" with the United States regardless of who is in the White House. However, a perception of one-sided compromising personal and political closeness led to discussion of the term "Poodle-ism" in the UK media, to describe the "Special Relationship" of the UK government and prime minister with the US White House and President. A revealing conversation between Bush and Blair, with the former addressing the latter as "Yo, Blair, Yo [or Yeah], Blair" was recorded when they did not know a microphone was live at the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg in 2006.


Middle East policy

On 30 January 2003, Blair signed ''The letter of the eight'' supporting Preparations for 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. policy on Iraq. Blair showed a deep feeling for Israel, born in part from his faith. Blair has been a longtime member of the pro-Israel lobby group Labour Friends of Israel.Assaf Uni
"Finance scandal has local community worried"
, ''Haaretz'', 10 December 2007.
In 1994, Blair forged close ties with Michael Levy, Baron Levy, Michael Levy, a leader of the Jewish Leadership Council. Levy ran the Labour Leader's Office Fund to finance Blair's campaign before the 1997 election and raised £12 million towards Labour's landslide victory, Levy was rewarded with a life peer, peerage, and in 2002, Blair appointed Lord Levy as his personal envoy to the Middle East. Levy praised Blair for his "solid and committed support of the State of Israel". Tam Dalyell, while Father of the House of Commons, suggested in 2003 that Blair's foreign policy decisions were unduly influenced by a "cabal" of Jewish advisers, including Levy, Peter Mandelson and Jack Straw (the last two are not Jewish but have some Jewish ancestry). Blair, on coming to office, had been "cool towards the right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu government".Seldon, ''Blair'', p. 506. During his first visit to Israel, Blair thought the Israelis bugged him in his car. After the election in 1999 of Ehud Barak, with whom Blair forged a close relationship, he became much more sympathetic to Israel. From 2001, Blair built up a relationship with Barak's successor, Ariel Sharon, and responded positively to Yasser Arafat, Arafat, whom he had met thirteen times since becoming prime minister and regarded as essential to future negotiations. In 2004, 50 former diplomats, including ambassadors to Baghdad and Tel Aviv, stated they had "watched with deepening concern" at Britain following the US into war in Iraq in 2003. They criticised Blair's support for the road map for peace which included the retaining of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. In 2006 Blair was criticised for his failure to immediately call for a ceasefire in the 2006 Lebanon War. ''The Observer'' newspaper claimed that at a cabinet meeting before Blair left for a summit with Bush on 28 July 2006, a significant number of ministers pressured Blair to publicly criticise Israel over the scale of deaths and destruction in Lebanon. Blair was criticised for his solid stance alongside US President George W. Bush on Middle East policy.


Syria and Libya

A Freedom of Information request by ''The Sunday Times'' in 2012 revealed that Blair's government considered honorary knighthood, knighting Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. The documents showed Blair was willing to appear alongside Assad at a joint press conference even though the Syrians would probably have settled for a farewell handshake for the cameras; British officials sought to manipulate the media to portray Assad in a favourable light; and Blair's aides tried to help Assad's "photogenic" wife boost her profile. The newspaper noted: Blair had been on friendly terms with Colonel Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, when sanctions imposed on the country were lifted by the US and the UK. Even after the Libyan Civil War (2011), Libyan Civil War in 2011, he said he had no regrets about his close relationship with the late Libyan leader. During Blair's premiership, MI6 rendered Abdelhakim Belhadj to the Gaddafi regime in 2004, though Blair later claimed he had "no recollection" of the incident.


Zimbabwe

Blair had an antagonistic relationship with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and allegedly planned regime change against Mugabe in the early 2000s. Zimbabwe had embarked on a program of Land reform in Zimbabwe, uncompensated land redistribution from the country's white commercial farmers to the black population, a policy that disrupted agricultural production and threw Zimbabwe's economy into chaos. General Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, Charles Guthrie, the Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom), Chief of the Defence Staff, revealed in 2007 that he and Blair had discussed the invasion of Zimbabwe. Guthrie advised against military action: "Hold hard, you'll make it worse." In 2013, South African President Thabo Mbeki said that Blair had pressured South Africa to join in a "regime change scheme, even to the point of using military force" in Zimbabwe. Mbeki refused because he felt that "Mugabe is part of the solution to this problem." However, a spokesman for Blair said that "he never asked anyone to plan or take part in any such military intervention."


Relationship with media


Rupert Murdoch

Blair was reported by ''The Guardian'' in 2006 to have been supported politically by Rupert Murdoch, the founder of the News Corporation (1980–2013), News Corporation media conglomerate, organisation. In 2011, Blair became Godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's children with Wendi Deng Murdoch, Wendi Deng, but he and Murdoch later ended their friendship, in 2014, after Murdoch suspected him of having an affair with Deng while they were still married, according to ''The Economist'' magazine.


Contacts with UK media proprietors

A Cabinet Office freedom of information response, released the day after Blair handed over power to
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
, documents Blair having various official phone calls and meetings with Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation (1980–2013), News Corporation and Richard Desmond of ''Northern and Shell Media''. The response includes contacts "clearly of an official nature" in the specified period, but excludes contacts "not clearly of an official nature." No details were given of the subjects discussed. In the period between September 2002 and April 2005, Blair and Murdoch are documented speaking 6 times; three times in the 9 days before the
Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
, including the eve of 20 March US and UK invasion, and on 29 January 25 April and 3 October 2004. Between January 2003 and February 2004, Blair had three meetings with Richard Desmond; on 29 January and 3 September 2003 and 23 February 2004. The information was disclosed after a -year battle by the Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrats' Eric Lubbock, 4th Baron Avebury, Lord Avebury. Lord Avebury's initial October 2003 information request was dismissed by then leader of the Lords, Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos, Baroness Amos. A following complaint was rejected, with Downing Street claiming the information compromised free and frank discussions, while Cabinet Office claimed releasing the timing of the PM's contacts with individuals is undesirable, as it might lead to the content of the discussions being disclosed. While awaiting a following appeal from Lord Avebury, the cabinet office announced that it would release the information. Lord Avebury said: "The public can now scrutinise the timing of his (Murdoch's) contacts with the former prime minister, to see whether they can be linked to events in the outside world." Blair appeared before the Leveson Inquiry on Monday 28 May 2012. During his appearance, a protester, later named as David Lawley-Wakelin, got into the court-room and claimed he was guilty of war crimes before being dragged out.


Media portrayal

Blair has been noted as a charismatic, articulate speaker with an informal style. Film and theatre director Richard Eyre opined that "Blair had a very considerable skill as a performer". A few months after becoming prime minister Blair gave a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, on the morning of her death in August 1997, in which he famously described her as "the People's Princess". After taking office in 1997, Blair gave particular prominence to his press secretary, who became known as the prime minister's official spokesman (the two roles have since been separated). Blair's first PMOS was Alastair Campbell, who served in that role from May 1997 to 8 June 2001, after which he served as the prime minister's director of communications and strategy until his resignation on 29 August 2003 in the aftermath of the Hutton Inquiry. Blair had close relationships with the Clinton family. The strong partnership with Bill Clinton was made into the film ''The Special Relationship (film), The Special Relationship'' in 2010.


Relationship with Labour Party

Blair's apparent refusal to set a date for his departure was criticised by the British press and Members of Parliament. It has been reported that a number of cabinet ministers believed that Blair's timely departure from office would be required to be able to win a fourth election. Some ministers viewed Blair's announcement of policy initiatives in September 2006 as an attempt to draw attention away from these issues.


Gordon Brown

After the death of John Smith in 1994, Blair and his close colleague
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
(they shared an office at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons) were both seen as possible candidates for the party leadership. They agreed not to stand against each other, it is said, as part of a supposed Blair–Brown pact. Brown, who considered himself the senior of the two, understood that Blair would give way to him: opinion polls soon indicated, however, that Blair appeared to enjoy greater support among voters. Their relationship in power became so turbulent that (it was reported) the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, deputy prime minister, John Prescott, often had to act as "marriage guidance counsellor". During the 2010 election campaign Blair publicly endorsed Gordon Brown's leadership, praising the way he had handled the financial crisis.


Post-premiership (since 2007)


Diplomacy

On 27 June 2007, Blair officially resigned as prime minister after ten years in office, and he was officially confirmed as Middle East Diplomacy, envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia. Blair originally indicated that he would retain his parliamentary seat after his resignation as prime minister came into effect; however, on being confirmed for the Middle East role he resigned from the Commons by taking up an Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, office of profit. President George W. Bush had preliminary talks with Blair to ask him to take up the envoy role. White House sources stated that "both Israel and the Palestinians had signed up to the proposal". In May 2008 Blair announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas of the Peace Valley plan. Blair resigned as envoy in May 2015.


Private sector

In January 2008, it was confirmed that Blair would be joining investment bank JPMorgan Chase in a "senior advisory capacity" and that he would advise Zurich Financial Services on climate change. His salary for this work is unknown, although it has been claimed it may be in excess of £500,000 per year. Blair also gives lectures, earning up to US$250,000 for a 90-minute speech, and in 2008 he was said to be the highest paid speaker in the world. Blair taught a course on issues of faith and globalisation at the Yale University Schools of Yale School of Management, Management and Yale Divinity School, Divinity as a Howland Memorial Prize, Howland distinguished fellow during the 2008–09 academic year. In July 2009, this accomplishment was followed by the launching of the Faith and Globalisation Initiative with Yale University in the US,
Durham University , mottoeng = Her foundations are upon the holy hills ( Psalm 87:1) , established = (university status) , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an in ...

Durham University
in the UK, and the National University of Singapore in Asia, to deliver a postgraduate programme in partnership with the Foundation. Blair's links with, and receipt of an undisclosed sum from, UI Energy Corporation, have also been subject to media comment in the UK. In July 2010 it was reported that his personal security guards claimed £250,000 a year in expenses from the tax payer, Foreign Secretary William Hague said; "we have to make sure that [Blair's security] is as cost-effective as possible, that it doesn't cost any more to the taxpayer than is absolutely necessary".


Tony Blair Associates

Blair established Tony Blair Associates to "allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on a commercial and ''pro bono'' basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform". The profits from the firm go towards supporting Blair's "work on faith, Africa and climate change". Blair has been subject to criticism for potential conflicts of interest between his diplomatic role as a Middle East envoy, and his work with Tony Blair Associates, and a number of prominent critics have even called for him to be sacked. Blair has used his Quartet on the Middle East, Quartet Tony Blair Associates works with the Kazakhstan government, advising the regime on judicial, economic and political reforms, but has been subject to criticism after accusations of "whitewashing" the image and human rights record of the regime. Blair responded to such criticism by saying his choice to advise the country is an example of how he can "nudge controversial figures on a progressive path of reform", and has stated that he receives no personal profit from this advisory role. The Kazakhstan foreign minister said that the country was "honoured and privileged" to be receiving advice from Blair. A letter obtained by ''The Daily Telegraph'' in August 2014 revealed Blair had given damage-limitation advice to Nazarbayev after the December 2011 Zhanaozen massacre. Blair was reported to have accepted a business advisory role with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, a situation deemed incompatible with his role as Middle East envoy. Blair described the report as "nonsense".


Charity and Non-profits

In November 2007 Blair launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which aims to "increase childhood participation in sports activities, especially in the North East of England, where a larger proportion of children are socially excluded, and to promote overall health and prevent childhood obesity." On 30 May 2008, Blair launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as a vehicle for encouraging different faiths to join in promoting respect and understanding, as well as working to tackle poverty. Reflecting Blair's own faith but not dedicated to any particular religion, the Foundation aims to "show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world". "The Foundation will use its profile and resources to encourage people of faith to work together more closely to tackle global poverty and conflict," says its mission statement. In February 2009 he applied to set up a charity called the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative: the application was approved in November 2009. In October 2012 Blair's foundation hit controversy when it emerged they were taking on unpaid interns. In December 2016, Blair created the Tony Blair Institute to promote global outlooks by governments and organisations.


Memoirs

In March 2010, it was reported that Blair's memoirs, titled ''The Journey'', would be published in September 2010. In July 2010 it was announced the memoirs would be retitled ''A Journey''. The memoirs were seen by many as controversial and a further attempt to profit from his office and from acts related to overseas wars that were widely seen as wrong, leading to anger and suspicion prior to launch. On 16 August 2010 it was announced that Blair would give the £4.6 million advance and all royalties from his memoirs to the Royal British Legion – the charity's largest ever single donation. Media analysis of the sudden announcement was wide-ranging, describing it as an act of "desperation" to obtain a better launch reception of a humiliating "publishing flop" that had languished in the ratings, "blood money (restitution), blood money" for the lives lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, an act with a "hidden motive" or an expression of "guilt", a "genius move" to address the problem that "Tony Blair ha[d] one of the most toxic brands around" from a PR perspective, and a "cynical stunt to wipe the slate", but also as an attempt to make amends. Friends had said that the act was partly motivated by the wish to "repair his reputation". The book was published on 1 September and within hours of its launch had become the fastest-selling autobiography of all time. On 3 September Blair gave his first live interview since publication on ''The Late Late Show (Ireland), The Late Late Show'' in Ireland, with protesters lying in wait there for him. On 4 September Blair was confronted by 200 anti-war and hardline Irish nationalist demonstrators before the first book signing of his memoirs at Eason & Son, Eason's bookstore on O'Connell Street in Dublin, with angry activists chanting "war criminal" and that he had "blood on his hands", and clashing with Irish Police (Garda Síochána) as they tried to break through a security cordon outside the Eason's store. Blair was pelted with eggs and shoes, and encountered an attempted citizen's arrest for war crimes.


Accusations of war crimes

Since the Iraq War, Blair has been the subject of war crimes accusations. Critics of his actions, including Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harold Pinter and Arundhati Roy have called for his trial at the International Criminal Court. In November 2011, a war crimes tribunal of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, established by Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, reached a unanimous conclusion that Blair and George W. Bush are guilty of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and genocide as a result of their roles in the 2003 Iraq War. The proceedings lasted for four days, and consisted of five judges of judicial and academic backgrounds, a tribunal-appointed defence team in lieu of the defendants or representatives, and a prosecution team including international law professor Francis Boyle. In September 2012, Desmond Tutu suggested that Blair should follow the path of former African leaders who had been brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman, interviewed on BBC radio, concurred with Tutu's suggestion that there should be a war crimes trial. In a statement made in response to Tutu's comments, Blair defended his actions. He was supported by Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, Lord Falconer, who stated that the war had been authorised by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. In July 2017, former Iraqi general Abdulwaheed al-Rabbat launched a private war crimes prosecution, in the High Court in London, asking for Tony Blair, former foreign secretary Jack Straw and former attorney general Peter Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith, Lord Goldsmith to be prosecuted for "the crime of aggression" for their role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The High Court ruled that, although the crime of aggression was recognised in international law, it was not an offence under UK law, and, therefore, the prosecution could not proceed.


Political interventions and views


Response to the Iraq Inquiry

The Chilcot report after the conclusion of the
Iraq Inquiry The Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot)

Iran–West tensions

Blair wrote in an op-ed published by ''The Washington Post'' on 8 February 2019: "Where Iran is exercising military interference, it should be strongly pushed back. Where it is seeking influence, it should be countered. Where its proxies operate, it should be held responsible. Where its networks exist, they should be disrupted. Where its leaders are saying what is unacceptable, they should be exposed. Where the Iranian people — highly educated and connected, despite their government — are protesting for freedom, they should be supported." The
Tony Blair Institute for Global Change warned of growing Iranian threat. The Tony Blair Institute confirmed that it has received donations from the U.S. State Department and Saudi Arabia.


European Union

Blair did not want Brexit, the UK to leave the EU. Blair had called for a Proposed referendum on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, referendum on the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Blair also maintained, that once the terms deciding how the UK leaves the EU were known the people should vote again on those terms. Blair stated, "We know the options for Brexit. Parliament will have to decide on one of them. If Parliament can't then it should decide to go back to the people." However, after the 2019 United Kingdom general election, 2019 general election when the pro-withdrawal Conservative party won a sizeable majority of seats, Blair argued that remain supporters should "face up to one simple point: we lost" and "pivot to a completely new position...We're going to have to be constructive about it and see how Britain develops a constructive relationship with Europe and finds its new niche in the world."


American power

Blair was interviewed in June 2020 for an article in the American magazine The Atlantic (magazine), ''The Atlantic'' on European views of U.S. foreign policy following the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting COVID-19 recession, recession, increased tensions in Sino-American relations, and the George Floyd protests. He affirmed his belief in the continued strength of American soft power and the need to address Iranian military aggression, European defence budgets, and Chinese trade. He said, however, "I think it's fair to say a lot of political leaders in Europe are dismayed by what they see as the isolationism growing in America and the seeming indifference to alliances. But I think there will come a time when America decides in its own interest to reengage, so I'm optimistic that America will in the end understand that this is not about relegating your self-interest behind the common interest; it's an understanding that by acting collectively in alliance with others you promote your own interests." Blair warned that structural issues plaguing American domestic policy needed to be addressed imminently. In August 2021, Blair criticised the Withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan (2020–2021), withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and of NATO troops saying that it was "in obedience to an imbecilic slogan about ending 'the forever wars. Blair admitted mistakes in the management of the war but warned that "the reaction to our mistakes has been, unfortunately, further mistakes".


Labour

Blair had been a critic of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, leadership of the Labour Party, seeing it as too left-wing. He wrote in a opinion piece for The Guardian during the party's 2015 Labour Party leadership election (UK), 2015 leadership election that if it elected Corbyn it would face a 'rout, possibly annihilation' at the next election. At the end of the period, he accused Corbyn of turning the party into a "glorified protest movement". In a May 2021 ''New Statesman'' article, Blair suggested that the party had a "total deconstruction and reconstruction", saying that Labour leader Keir Starmer was being backed into "electorally off-putting positions" and lacked a compelling economic message. He also said the party needed to shift to the centre on social issues in order to survive. Blair touched on controversial topics such as transgender rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change and Corbyn's leadership of the party.


Personal life


Family

Blair married , a Roman Catholic, who would later become a Queen's Counsel, on 29 March 1980. They have four children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, and Leo. Leo, delivered by the royal surgeon/gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, was the first legitimate child born to a serving prime minister in over 150 years – since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell on 11 July 1849. All four children have Irish passports, by virtue of Blair's mother, Hazel Elizabeth Rosaleen Corscadden (12 June 192328 June 1975). The family's primary residence is in Connaught Square; the Blairs own eight residences in total. His first grandchild (a girl) was born in October 2016.


Wealth

Blair's financial assets are structured in an opaque manner, and as such estimates of their extent vary widely. These include figures of up to £100 million. Blair stated in 2014 that he was worth "less than £20 million". A 2015 assertion, by Francis Beckett, David Hencke and Nick Kochan, concluded that Blair had acquired $90 million and a property portfolio worth $37.5 million in the eight years since he had left office. In October 2021, Blair was List of people named in the Pandora Papers, named in the Pandora Papers.


Religious faith

In an interview with Michael Parkinson broadcast on ITV1 on 4 March 2006, Blair referred to the role of his Christian faith in his decision to go to war in Iraq, stating that he had prayed about the issue, and saying that God would judge him for his decision: "I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people ... and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well." According to Press Secretary Alastair Campbell's diary, Blair often read the Bible before taking any important decisions. He states that Blair had a "wobble" and considered changing his mind on the eve of the Bombing of Iraq (1998), bombing of Iraq in 1998. A longer exploration of his faith can be found in an interview with ''Third Way Magazine''. There he says that "I was brought up as [a Christian], but I was not in any real sense a practising one until I went to Oxford. There was an Australian priest at the same college as me who got me interested again. In a sense, it was a rediscovery of religion as something living, that was about the world around me rather than some sort of special one-to-one relationship with a remote Being on high. Suddenly I began to see its social relevance. I began to make sense of the world". At one point Alastair Campbell intervened in an interview, preventing Blair from answering a question about his Christianity, explaining, "We don't do God." Campbell later said that he had intervened only to end the interview because the journalist had been taking an excessive time, and that the comment had just been a throwaway line. Cherie Blair's friend and "spiritual guru" Carole Caplin is credited with introducing her and her husband to various New Age symbols and beliefs, including "magic pendants" known as "BioElectric Shields". The most controversial of the Blairs' New Age practices occurred when on holiday in Mexico. The couple, wearing only bathing costumes, took part in a rebirthing procedure, which involved smearing mud and fruit over each other's bodies while sitting in a steam bath. Later on, Blair questioned the Pope's attitude towards homosexuality, arguing that religious leaders must start "rethinking" the issue. Blair was reprimanded by Cardinal Basil Hume in 1996 for receiving Holy Communion at Mass, while still an Anglican, in contravention of canon law. On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Blair had joined the Roman Catholic Church. The move was described as "a private matter". He had informed Pope Benedict XVI on 23 June 2007 that he wanted to become a Catholic. The Pope and his advisors criticised some of Blair's political actions, but followed up with a reportedly unprecedented red-carpet welcome, which included the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, who would be responsible for Blair's Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Catholic instruction. In 2010, ''The Tablet'' named him as one of Britain's most influential Roman Catholics.


Extramarital affair allegations

In 2014, Vanity Fair (magazine), ''Vanity Fair'' and ''The Economist'' published allegations that Blair had had an extramarital affair with Wendi Deng, who was then married to Rupert Murdoch. Blair denied the allegations.


Portrayals and cameo appearances


Appearances

Blair made an animated cameo appearance as himself in ''The Simpsons'' episode, "The Regina Monologues" (2003). He has also appeared as himself at the end of the first episode of ''The Amazing Mrs Pritchard'', a British television series about an unknown housewife becoming prime minister. On 14 March 2007, Blair appeared as a celebrity judge on ''MasterChef (UK TV series), Masterchef Goes Large'' after contestants had to prepare a three-course meal in the Downing Street kitchens for Blair and Bertie Ahern. On 16 March 2007, Blair featured in a comedy sketch with Catherine Tate, who appeared in the guise of her character Lauren Cooper from ''The Catherine Tate Show''. The sketch was made for the BBC Red Nose Day fundraising programme of 2007. During the sketch, Blair used Lauren's catchphrase "Am I bovvered?"


Portrayals

Michael Sheen has portrayed Blair three times, in the films ''The Deal (2003 film), The Deal'' (2003), ''The Queen (2006 film), The Queen'' (2006), and ''The Special Relationship (film), The Special Relationship'' (2009). Robert Lindsay (actor), Robert Lindsay portrayed Blair in the TV programme ''A Very Social Secretary'' (2005), and reprised the role in ''The Trial of Tony Blair'' (2007). He was also portrayed by James Larkin (actor), James Larkin in ''The Government Inspector (film), The Government Inspector'' (2005), and by Ioan Gruffudd in ''W. (film), W.'' (2008). In the 2006 Channel 4 comedy drama documentary, ''Tony Blair: Rock Star'', he was portrayed by Christian Brassington.


Blair in fiction and satire

When Blair resigned as prime minister, Robert Harris (novelist), Robert Harris, a former Fleet Street political editor, dropped his other work to write ''The Ghost (Harris novel), The Ghost''. The CIA-influenced British prime minister in the book is said to be a thinly disguised version of Blair. The novel was filmed as ''The Ghost Writer (film), The Ghost Writer'' (2010) with Pierce Brosnan portraying the Blair character, Adam Lang. Stephen Mangan portrays Blair in ''The Hunt for Tony Blair'' (2011), a one-off ''The Comic Strip Presents...'' satire presented in the style of a 1950s film noir. In the film, he is wrongly implicated in the deaths of Robin Cook and John Smith and on the run from Inspector Hutton. In 2007, the scenario of a possible war crimes trial for the former British prime minister was satirised by the British broadcaster Channel 4, in a "mockumentary", ''The Trial of Tony Blair'', with concluded with the fictional Blair being dispatched to the Hague.


Honours

* Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Councillor (1994) * Congressional Gold Medal (2003) * Honorary Doctor of Law (LL.D.) from Queen's University Belfast (2008) * Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) * Dan David Prize (2009) * Liberty Medal (2010) * Order of Freedom (Kosovo), Order of Freedom (2010) * Order of the Garter, Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (2022) In May 2007, Blair was invested as a paramount chief by the chiefs and people of Mahera village, Sierra Leone. The honour was bestowed upon him in recognition of the role played by his government in the Sierra Leone Civil War. On 22 May 2008, Blair received an honorary law doctorate from Queen's University Belfast, alongside former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, for distinction in public service and roles in the Northern Ireland peace process. On 13 January 2009, Blair was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Bush stated that Blair was given the award "in recognition of exemplary achievement and to convey the utmost esteem of the American people" and cited Blair's support for the
War on Terror#REDIRECT War on terror The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism and U.S. War on Terror, is an international military campaign launched by the Federal government of the United States, United States government after the Septe ...
and his role in achieving peace in Northern Ireland as two reasons for justifying his being presented with the award. On 16 February 2009, Blair was awarded the Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University for "exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict". He was awarded the prize in May 2009. On 8 July 2010, Blair was awarded the Order of Freedom (Kosovo), Order of Freedom by the President of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu. As Blair is credited as being instrumental in ending the conflict in Kosovo, some boys born in the country following the war have been given the name Toni or Tonibler. On 13 September 2010, Blair was awarded the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was presented by former President Bill Clinton, and is awarded annually to "men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe". On 31 December 2021 it was announced that the Queen had appointed Blair a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (KG). In May 2007, before his resignation, it was speculated that Blair would be offered a knighthood in the Order of the Thistle, owing to his Scottish background (rather than the Garter, which is usually offered to former prime ministers with connections to the other three home nations). Reportedly, Blair had indicated that he did not want the traditional knighthood or peerage bestowed on former prime ministers.


Works

* Blair, Tony (2010). ''A Journey''. London: Random House. . . * Blair, Tony (2002). ''The Courage of Our Convictions''. London: Fabian Society. . * Blair, Tony (2000). ''Superpower: Not Superstate? (Federal Trust European Essays)''. London: Federal Trust for Education & Research. . * Blair, Tony (1998). ''The Third Way: New Politics for the New Century''. London: Fabian Society. . * Blair, Tony (1998). ''Leading the Way: New Vision for Local Government''. London: Institute for Public Policy Research. . * Blair, Tony (1997). ''New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country''. New York: Basic Books. . * Blair, Tony (1995).
Let Us Face the Future
'. London: Fabian Society. . * Blair, Tony (1994).
What Price a Safe Society?
'. London: Fabian Society. . * Blair, Tony (1994).
Socialism
'. London: Fabian Society. .


See also

* Blatcherism * Bush–Blair 2003 Iraq memo * Cash for Honours * Cultural depictions of Tony Blair * Parliamentary motion to impeach Tony Blair (November 2004) ** ''Halsbury's Laws of England'' (2004), reference to impeachment in volume on Constitutional Law and Human Rights, paragraph 416


Explanatory notes


References


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


The Office of Tony Blair
– Official website
Tony Blair Faith Foundation
* *
The Blair Years – Timeline
at ''BBC News'' * * * * at www.pm.gov.uk * , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Blair, Tony Tony Blair, 1953 births 20th-century prime ministers of the United Kingdom 21st-century prime ministers of the United Kingdom Alumni of St John's College, Oxford Alumni of the Inns of Court School of Law British diplomats Commission for Africa members Congressional Gold Medal recipients Converts to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism English autobiographers English Roman Catholics Fellows of St John's College, Oxford Former Marxists Labour Party prime ministers of the United Kingdom Labour Party (UK) MPs for English constituencies Labour Friends of Israel Leaders of the Labour Party (UK) Leaders of the Opposition (United Kingdom) Living people Members of Lincoln's Inn Members of the Fabian Society Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom People educated at Fettes College People educated at the Chorister School, Durham People named in the Pandora Papers Politicians from Edinburgh Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients Presidents of the European Council Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom Sedgefield (borough) Transport and General Workers' Union-sponsored MPs Trimdon UK MPs 1983–1987 UK MPs 1987–1992 UK MPs 1992–1997 UK MPs 1997–2001 UK MPs 2001–2005 UK MPs 2005–2010 Yale University faculty The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Writers about religion and science Knights of the Garter Politicians awarded knighthoods