Tony Blair

Tony Blair

Overview
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a former British Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 politician who served as the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield
Sedgefield (UK Parliament constituency)
Sedgefield is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

 from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He resigned from all of these positions in June 2007.

Blair was elected Leader of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 in the leadership election of July 1994
Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1994
A leadership election was held on 21 July 1994 for the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, after the sudden death of incumbent leader John Smith. The 1994 election would ultimately decide not only Labour's new leader, but also the next Prime Minister...

, following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Tony Blair'
Start a new discussion about 'Tony Blair'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Quotations

I shall not rest until, once again, the destinies of our people and our party are joined together again in victory at the next general election Labour in its rightful place in government again.

Philip Webster, "Blair sets sights on Downing Street", The Times, 22 July 1994.

The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.

Mail on Sunday, 2 October 1994.

Any parent wants the best for their children. I am not going to make a choice for my child on the basis of what is the politically correct thing to do.

"Mr Blair opts out", Guardian, 2 December 1994. Statement on 1 December 1994, defending his decision to send his eldest son Euan to the London Oratory School which had opted out of local education authority control under a policy which the Labour Party opposed.

We have no plans to increase tax at all.

Philip Bassett, "Blair pledges he will not raise tax", The Times, 21 September 1995, p. 1.

I didn't come into politics to change the Labour Party. I came into politics to change the country.

Michael White, "Blair wants 'to make UK young again'", Guardian, 4 October 1995.

I want to see a publicly-owned railway, publicly accountable.

Paul Routledge, "Why the unions aren't rocking Blair's boat", Independent on Sunday, 8 October 1995.

I can't stand politicians who wear God on their sleeves.

Sunday Telegraph, 7 April 1996.

Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education and education. We are 35th in the world league of education standards – 35th. At every level, radical improvement and reform.

"We are back as the people's party, says Blair", The Times, 2 October 1996.
Encyclopedia
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a former British Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 politician who served as the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield
Sedgefield (UK Parliament constituency)
Sedgefield is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

 from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He resigned from all of these positions in June 2007.

Blair was elected Leader of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 in the leadership election of July 1994
Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1994
A leadership election was held on 21 July 1994 for the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, after the sudden death of incumbent leader John Smith. The 1994 election would ultimately decide not only Labour's new leader, but also the next Prime Minister...

, following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under his leadership, the party adopted the term "New Labour" and moved away from its traditional left wing position towards the centre ground
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

. Blair subsequently led Labour to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1997
The United Kingdom general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997, more than five years after the previous election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party ended its 18 years in opposition under the leadership of Tony Blair, and won the general...

. At 43 years old, he became the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

 in 1812. In the first years of the New Labour government, Blair's government implemented a number of 1997 manifesto
New Labour, New Life For Britain
New Labour, New Life For Britain was a hugely significant political manifesto published in 1996 by the UK's Labour Party, which had recently restyled itself as New Labour under Tony Blair...

 pledges, introducing the minimum wage
National Minimum Wage Act 1998
The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 creates a minimum wage across the United Kingdom, currently £6.08 per hour for workers aged 21 years and older, £4.98 per hour for workers aged 18–20...

, Human Rights Act
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

 and Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that creates a public "right of access" to information held by public authorities. It is the implementation of freedom of information legislation in the United Kingdom on a national level...

, and carrying out devolution
Devolution in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, devolution refers to the statutory granting of powers from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly and to their associated executive bodies the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government...

, establishing the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

, the National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

, and the Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive...

.

Blair's role as Prime Minister was particularly visible in foreign and security policy, including in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, where he was involved in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. From the start of the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 in 2001, Blair strongly supported the foreign policy of US President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, notably by participating in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. Blair is the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister, the only person to have led the Labour Party to three consecutive general election victories, and the only Labour Prime Minister to serve consecutive terms more than one of which was at least four years long.

He was succeeded as Leader of the Labour Party on 24 June 2007 and as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007 by Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

. On the day he resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, 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 peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

. In May 2008, Blair launched his Tony Blair Faith Foundation
Tony Blair Faith Foundation
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation was established by Tony Blair in May 2008.-The Foundation:The Foundation was launched in May 2008 in New York at the headquarters of media group Time Warner. In his speech Blair outlined its aim that "idealism becomes the new realism", and that one of its goals was...

. This was followed in July 2009 by the launching of the Faith and Globalisation Initiative
Faith and Globalisation initiative
The Faith and Globalisation Initiative launched in Yale University in September 2008 is an attempt by Tony Blair and his Tony Blair Faith Foundation to build a "global conversation" between an "elite group" of universities. The first result of the initiative was a semester long course on faith and...

with Yale University in the US, Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

 in the UK and the National University of Singapore
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

 in Asia to deliver a postgraduate programme in partnership with the Foundation.

Background and family life


Blair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 6 May 1953, the second son of Leo
Leo Blair (senior)
Leo Charles Lynton Blair is a retired University of Durham law lecturer. He is the author of the book The Commonwealth Public Service...

 and Hazel Blair (née Corscadden). Leo Blair, the illegitimate son of two English actors, had been adopted as a baby by 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 but returned to (and later died in) Ballyshannon
Ballyshannon
Ballyshannon is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is located where the N3 and N15 cross the River Erne, and claims to be the oldest town in Ireland.-Location:...

 in 1923, where his wife, Sarah Margaret (née Lipsett), gave birth to Blair's mother, Hazel, above her family's grocery shop. George Corscadden was from a family of Protestant farmers in County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

, Ireland, who descended from Ulster-Scots
Ulster-Scots
The Ulster Scots are an ethnic group in Ireland, descended from Lowland Scots and English from the border of those two countries, many from the "Border Reivers" culture...

 settlers who took their family name from Garscadden
Garscadden
Garscadden is a district in the Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated north of the River Clyde. It lies between Yoker to the west, Scotstoun to the east and Knightswood to the north. It has a train station close to Knightswood shopping centre and Yoker Railway Depot.Garscadden railway station...

, now part of Glasgow.

Life as a child


Blair has one elder brother, Sir William Blair
William Blair (judge)
Sir William James Lynton Blair , styled The Hon. Mr Justice Blair, is a British judge. He was previously a Queen's Counsel, specialising in domestic and international banking and finance law...

, a High Court
High Court
The term High Court usually refers to the superior court of a country or state. In some countries, it is the highest court . In others, it is positioned lower in the hierarchy of courts The term High Court usually refers to the superior court (or supreme court) of a country or state. In some...

 judge, and a younger sister, Sarah. Blair spent the first 19 months of his life at the family home in 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
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

. In the 1950s, his family spent three and a half years in Adelaide, Australia, where his father was a lecturer in law at the University of Adelaide
University of Adelaide
The University of Adelaide is a public university located in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1874, it is the third oldest university in Australia...

. The Blairs lived close to the university, in the suburb of Dulwich
Dulwich, South Australia
Dulwich is a suburb in the City of Burnside, Adelaide, South Australia with a census area population of 2,663 people. The suburb is adjacent to Adelaide's east parklands, and forms part of the western boundary of the City of Burnside. Dulwich is a mix of residential housing and commercial activity...

. The family returned to the UK in the late 1950s, living for a time with Hazel Blair's stepfather, William McClay, and her mother at their home in Stepps
Stepps
Stepps is a small town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, on the north-eastern outskirts of Glasgow. The town consists of Stepps Village, Cardowan, Stepps Hill and Millerston...

, near Glasgow. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

, England, where his father lectured at Durham University
Durham University
The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

.

Education


After attending The Chorister School in Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

 from 1961 to 1966, Blair boarded at Fettes College
Fettes College
Fettes College is an independent school for boarding and day pupils in Edinburgh, Scotland with over two thirds of its pupils in residence on campus...

, a prestigious independent school in Edinburgh, during which time he met Charlie Falconer
Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton
Charles Leslie Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, PC is a British Labour politician, who became the Lord Chancellor and the first Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs in 2003...

 (a pupil at the rival Edinburgh Academy
Edinburgh Academy
The Edinburgh Academy is an independent school which was opened in 1824. The original building, in Henderson Row on the northern fringe of the New Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is now part of the Senior School...

), whom he later appointed Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

. He reportedly modelled himself on Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones....

. His teachers were unimpressed with him, his biographer 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 was arrested at Fettes, having been mistaken for a burglar as he climbed into his dormitory using a ladder after having been out late.


After Fettes, Blair spent a year in London, where he attempted to find fame as a rock music promoter before reading jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

 at St John's College, Oxford
St John's College, Oxford
__FORCETOC__St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford, one of the larger Oxford colleges with approximately 390 undergraduates, 200 postgraduates and over 100 academic staff. It was founded by Sir Thomas White, a merchant, in 1555, whose heart is buried in the chapel of...

. As a student, he played guitar and sang in a rock band called Ugly Rumours
Ugly Rumours (band)
Ugly Rumours was the name of a rock band founded in part by former UK prime minister Tony Blair, while studying law at St John's College, Oxford during the early 1970s; he sang and played guitar...

. During this time, he dated future American Psycho
American Psycho
American Psycho is a psychological thriller and satirical novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991. The story is told in the first person by the protagonist, serial killer and Manhattan businessman Patrick Bateman. The book's graphic violence and sexual content generated a great deal of...

director Mary Harron
Mary Harron
Mary Harron is a Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter best known for her films I Shot Andy Warhol, American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page.-Overview:...

.

He was influenced by fellow student and Anglican priest Peter Thomson
Peter Thomson (priest)
Peter Thomson was an Australian Anglican priest, best known for influencing Tony Blair, the future British Prime Minister, while they were both at St John's College, Oxford. He also influenced Geoff Gallop, who later became Premier of Western Australia...

, who awakened within Blair a deep concern for religious faith and left-wing politics. While Blair was at Oxford, his mother Hazel died of cancer, which greatly affected him. After graduating from Oxford in 1975 with a Second Class Honours
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 BA in Jurisprudence, Blair became a member of Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond...

, enrolled as a pupil barrister, and met his future wife, Cherie Booth
Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair , known professionally as Cherie Booth QC, is a British barrister working in the legal system of England and Wales. She is married to the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair; the couple have three sons and one daughter...

 (daughter of the actor Tony Booth) at the law chambers founded by Derry Irvine
Derry Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg
Alexander Andrew Mackay Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg, PC, QC , known as Derry Irvine, is a British lawyer and political figure who served as Lord Chancellor under his former pupil barrister Tony Blair....

 (who was to be Blair's first Lord Chancellor), 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers
11 King's Bench Walk Chambers
11 King's Bench Walk Chambers is a barristers' Chambers founded by Alexander Irvine QC.The chambers specialises in employment law, public and administrative law and commercial law. The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair was a junior tenant on its foundation in 1981 and appointed its founder, Derry...

. He appears in a number of reported cases, for example as in Nethermere (St Neots) Ltd v Gardiner where he represented employers unsuccessfully in an attempt to deny female factory workers holiday pay.

Marriage and children


Blair married Cherie Booth, a Roman Catholic and future Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

, on 29 March 1980. They have four children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, and Leo. Leo was the first legitimate child born to a serving Prime Minister in over 150 years—since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell
John Russell, 1st Earl Russell
John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, KG, GCMG, PC , known as Lord John Russell before 1861, was an English Whig and Liberal politician who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century....

 on 11 July 1849. Blair was criticised when it was discovered that one child had received private tuition from staff at Westminster School
Westminster School
The Royal College of St. Peter in Westminster, almost always known as Westminster School, is one of Britain's leading independent schools, with the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rate of any secondary school or college in Britain...

.
All four children have Irish passports, by virtue of Blair's mother Hazel. The family's primary residence is in Connaught Square, and the Blairs own eight other residences.

Personal health


Blair suffered from chest pains on Sunday 19 October 2003 and underwent a cardioversion
Cardioversion
Cardioversion is a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate or cardiac arrhythmia is converted to a normal rhythm, using electricity or drugs. Synchronized electrical cardioversion uses a therapeutic dose of electric current to the heart, at a specific moment in the cardiac cycle...

 at Hammersmith Hospital
Hammersmith Hospital
Hammersmith Hospital is a major teaching hospital in West London. It is part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and is associated with the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine...

.

Religious faith


In an interview with Michael Parkinson
Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson, CBE is an English broadcaster, journalist and author. He presented his interview programme, Parkinson, from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007.- Early life :...

 broadcast on ITV1
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

 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."

A longer exploration of his faith can be found in an interview with Third Way Magazine
Third Way Magazine
Third Way Magazine is a UK current-affairs magazine written from a Christian perspective. It is distinctively biblical, fairly highbrow and culturally aware...

. 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
Alastair Campbell
Alastair John Campbell is a British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known for his work as Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, having first started working for Blair in 1994...

, Blair's director of strategy and communications, intervened in an interview, preventing the Prime Minister from answering a question about his Christianity, explaining, "We don't do God".

Cherie Blair's friend and "spiritual guru" Carole Caplin
Carole Caplin
Carole Caplin was the style adviser to Cherie Blair and a fitness adviser to Tony Blair, when he was the British Prime Minister...

 is credited with introducing her and her husband to various New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 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 others' 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. He was later rebuked by Vincent Nichols, the new archbishop of Westminster, who said that Catholic thinking was 'rather different' from the kind promoted by the former prime minister.

On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Blair, who in 1996, had been reprimanded by Cardinal Basil Hume for receiving Holy Communion at Mass despite not being a Catholic, in contravention of canon law, had converted to the Catholic faith, and that it was "a private matter". He had informed Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 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 Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, who would be responsible for Blair's Catholic instruction
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process through which interested adults and older children are gradually introduced to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life...

.

On 14 January 2009, Blair, upon a visit to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., described, in the guest book, his home as being 'Jerusalem'. This was followed shortly after, on the occasion of his addressing of the National Prayer Breakfast, by his discussion of the issue of religion in the world and the Middle East peace process in his address and how he spends so much of his time in the Holy Land and in the Holy City. He reported his Palestinian guide as bemoaning the fate of his nation looking to heaven and saying “Moses, Jesus, Mohammed: why did they all have to come here?" For Blair the Holy City is "a good place to reflect on religion: a source of so much inspiration; an excuse for so much evil."

According to 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 in 1998.

Early political career


Blair joined the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975. During the early 1980s, he was involved in Labour politics in Hackney South and Shoreditch, where he aligned himself with the "soft left
Soft left
The soft left was the name given to the more moderate left wing forces in the British Labour Party in the 1980s. They were first seen as a distinct movement when many previous left wingers such as Neil Kinnock refused to support Tony Benn in the election for the deputy leadership of the Labour...

" of the party. In 1982 Blair was selected as the Labour candidate in the safe Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 seat of Beaconsfield
Beaconsfield (UK Parliament constituency)
Beaconsfield is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. It is among the safest of Conservative seats....

, where there was a forthcomming by-election. Although Blair lost the Beaconsfield by-election
Beaconsfield by-election, 1982
The Beaconsfield by-election, 1982 was a parliamentary by-election held on 27 May 1982 for the British House of Commons constituency of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire...

 (the only election he lost in his 25-year political career) he gained 10% of the vote and acquired a profile within the party. In contrast to his later centrism, Blair made it clear in a letter he wrote to Labour leader Michael Foot in July 1982, that he had "come to Socialism through Marxism" and considered himself on the left. The letter was eventually published in June 2006.

In 1983, Blair found the newly created constituency of Sedgefield
Sedgefield (UK Parliament constituency)
Sedgefield is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

, a notionally safe Labour seat near where he had grown up in Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. The branch had not made a nomination, and Blair visited them. Several sitting MPs displaced by boundary changes were interested in securing selection to fight the seat. With the crucial support of John Burton
John Burton (political agent)
John Burton was a Labour Party councillor in County Durham, England. He was a member of Sedgefield Borough Council, representing the ward of Fishburn and Old Trimdon...

, Blair won their endorsement; at the last minute, he was added to the short list and won the selection over Les Huckfield
Les Huckfield
Leslie John Huckfield is a British Labour politician, who served as Member of Parliament for Nuneaton from 1967 to 1983 and as an MEP from 1984 to 1989....

. Burton later became Blair's agent
Election agent
In elections in the United Kingdom, as well as in certain other similar political systems such as India's, an election agent is the person legally responsible for the conduct of a candidate's political campaign and to whom election material is sent to by those running the election. In elections in...

 and one of his most trusted and longest-standing allies.

Blair's election literature in the 1983 UK general election
United Kingdom general election, 1983
The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of Labour in 1945...

 endorsed left-wing policies that Labour advocated in the early 1980s. He called for Britain to leave the EEC
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

, though he had told his selection conference that he personally favoured continuing membership. He also supported unilateral nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated....

 as a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is an anti-nuclear organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...

. Blair was helped on the campaign trail by soap opera actress Pat Phoenix
Pat Phoenix
Patricia "Pat" Frederica Phoenix was an English actress who became one of the first sex symbols of British television through her role of Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street.-Early life and career:Born in Ireland to Anna Maria Josephine Noonan and Tom Manfield, but moved to Manchester before...

, his father-in-law's girlfriend. Blair was elected as MP for Sedgefield despite the party's landslide defeat in the general election.

In his maiden speech
Maiden speech
A maiden speech is the first speech given by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature or parliament.Traditions surrounding maiden speeches vary from country to country...

 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." The Labour Party is declared in its constitution to be a democratic socialist
Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation...

 party rather than a social democratic party; Blair himself organised this declaration of Labour to be a socialist party when he dealt with the change to the party's Clause IV
Clause IV
Clause IV historically refers to part of the 1918 text of the British Labour Party constitution which set out the aims and values of the party. Before its revision in 1995, its application was the subject of considerable dispute.-Text:...

 in their constitution.

Once elected, Blair's political ascent was rapid. He received his first front-bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesman. In May 1985, he appeared on BBC's Question Time
Question Time
Question time in a parliament occurs when members of the parliament ask questions of government ministers , which they are obliged to answer. It usually occurs daily while parliament is sitting, though it can be cancelled in exceptional circumstances...

, arguing that the Conservative Government's Public Order White Paper was a threat to civil liberties.
Blair demanded an inquiry into the Bank of England
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, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

's decision to rescue the collapsed Johnson Matthey
Johnson Matthey
Johnson Matthey plc is multinational chemicals and precious metals company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.-History:...

 Bank in October 1985 and embarrassed the government by finding a EEC report critical of British economic policy that had been countersigned by a member of the Conservative government. By this time, Blair was aligned with the reforming tendencies in the party (headed by leader Neil Kinnock
Neil Kinnock
Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock is a Welsh politician belonging to the Labour Party. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1970 until 1995 and as Labour Leader and Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition from 1983 until 1992 - his leadership of the party during nearly nine years making him...

) and was promoted after the 1987 election
United Kingdom general election, 1987
The United Kingdom general election of 1987 was held on 11 June 1987, to elect 650 members to the British House of Commons. The election was the third consecutive election victory for the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, who became the first Prime Minister since the 2nd...

 to the shadow Trade and Industry team as spokesman on the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

. In 1987, he stood for election to the Shadow Cabinet
Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government...

, receiving 71 votes.

Blair became Shadow Home Secretary
Shadow Home Secretary
In British politics, the Shadow Home Secretary is the person within the shadow cabinet who 'shadows' the Home Secretary; this effectively means scrutinising government policy on home affairs including policing, national security, immigration, the criminal justice system, the prison service, and...

 under John Smith
John Smith (UK politician)
John Smith was a British Labour Party politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party from July 1992 until his sudden death from a heart attack in May 1994...

. John Smith died suddenly in 1994 of a heart attack. Blair beat John Prescott
John Prescott
John Leslie Prescott, Baron Prescott is a British politician who was Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. Born in Prestatyn, Wales, he represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament from 1970 to 2010...

 and Margaret Beckett
Margaret Beckett
Margaret Mary Beckett is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Derby South since 1983, rising to become the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under John Smith, from 18 July 1992 to 12 May 1994, and briefly serving as Leader of the Party following Smith's death...

 in the subsequent leadership election
Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1994
A leadership election was held on 21 July 1994 for the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, after the sudden death of incumbent leader John Smith. The 1994 election would ultimately decide not only Labour's new leader, but also the next Prime Minister...

 and became Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition (UK)
The Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads the Official Opposition in the United Kingdom. There is also a Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords...

. As is customary for the holder of that office, Blair was appointed a Privy Councillor
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

.

Leader of the Labour Party


Blair announced at the end of his speech at the 1994 Labour Party conference that he intended to replace Clause IV
Clause IV
Clause IV historically refers to part of the 1918 text of the British Labour Party constitution which set out the aims and values of the party. Before its revision in 1995, its application was the subject of considerable dispute.-Text:...

 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. At a special conference in April 1995, the clause was replaced by a statement that the party is 'democratic socialist'.

He inherited the Labour leadership at a time when the party was ascendant over the Tories in the opinion polls since the Tory government's reputation for monetary excellence was left in tatters by the Black Wednesday
Black Wednesday
In politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism after they were unable to keep it above its agreed lower limit...

 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
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

) had overseen since the end of the 1990–92 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
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

's Conservative government (itself deeply divided over the European Union), "New Labour" won a landslide victory in the 1997 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1997
The United Kingdom general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997, more than five years after the previous election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party ended its 18 years in opposition under the leadership of Tony Blair, and won the general...

, ending 18 years of Conservative Party government, with the heaviest Conservative defeat since 1832
United Kingdom general election, 1832
-Seats summary:-Parties and leaders at the general election:The Earl Grey had been Prime Minister since 22 November 1830. His was the first predominantly Whig administration since the Ministry of all the Talents in 1806-1807....

.

During Smith's leadership of the Labour Party, there were discussions with Paddy Ashdown
Paddy Ashdown
Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, GCMG, KBE, PC , usually known as Paddy Ashdown, is a British politician and diplomat....

, the leader of the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

, about forming a coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 government if the next general election resulted in a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

. After Blair became leader, these talks continued – despite virtually every opinion poll since late 1992 having shown Labour with enough support to form a majority. However, the scale of the Labour victory meant that there was ultimately never any need for a coalition.

Prime Minister


Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 on 2 May 1997
United Kingdom general election, 1997
The United Kingdom general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997, more than five years after the previous election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party ended its 18 years in opposition under the leadership of Tony Blair, and won the general...

, serving concurrently as First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury
The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer in the United Kingdom, and is now always also the Prime Minister...

, Minister for the Civil Service
Minister for the Civil Service
In British government, the Minister for the Civil Service is responsible for making regulations regarding Her Majesty's Civil Service, the role of which is to assist the governments of the United Kingdom in formulating and implementing policies...

 and Leader of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

. The 43-year old Blair became the youngest person to become Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

 in 1812, at the age of 42. With victories in 1997, 2001
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

, and 2005
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

, Blair was the Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, the only person to lead the party to three consecutive general election victories.

Northern Ireland



His contribution towards assisting the Northern Ireland Peace Process
Northern Ireland peace process
The peace process, when discussing the history of Northern Ireland, is often considered to cover the events leading up to the 1994 Provisional Irish Republican Army ceasefire, the end of most of the violence of the Troubles, the Belfast Agreement, and subsequent political developments.-Towards a...

 by helping to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement (after 30 years of conflict) was widely recognised. Following the Omagh Bombing
Omagh bombing
The Omagh bombing was a car bomb attack carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army , a splinter group of former Provisional Irish Republican Army members opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, on Saturday 15 August 1998, in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Twenty-nine people died as a...

 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
County Tyrone
Historically Tyrone stretched as far north as Lough Foyle, and comprised part of modern day County Londonderry east of the River Foyle. The majority of County Londonderry was carved out of Tyrone between 1610-1620 when that land went to the Guilds of London to set up profit making schemes based on...

 town and met with victims at Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast
Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast
The Royal Victoria Hospital is a hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland....

.

War on Terror


In his first six years in office Blair ordered British troops into battle five times, more than any other prime minister in British history. This included Iraq in both 1998 and 2003; Kosovo
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 (1999); Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Civil War
The Sierra Leone Civil War began on 23 March 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front , with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia , intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government...

 (2000) and Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 (2001).

From the start of the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 in 2001, Blair strongly supported the foreign policy
Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration
During his campaign for election as President of the United States, George W. Bush's foreign policy platform included support for a stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction of involvement in "nation building" and other small-scale military...

 of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, participating in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. The invasion of Iraq was particularly controversial, as it attracted widespread public opposition and 139 of Blair's MPs opposed it. As a result, he faced criticism over the policy itself and the circumstances in which it was decided upon. Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell
Alastair John Campbell is a British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known for his work as Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, having first started working for Blair in 1994...

 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
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

 and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad accused Blair of war crimes. Testifying before the Iraq Inquiry on 29 January 2010, Blair said Saddam was a "monster and I believe he threatened not just the region but the world." Blair said that British and American attitude towards Saddam Hussein had "changed dramatically" after 11 September attacks. Blair denied that he would have supported the invasion of Iraq even if he had thought Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. He said he believed the world was safer as a result of the invasion. He also said that there was "no real difference between wanting regime change and wanting Iraq to disarm: regime change was US policy because Iraq was in breach of its UN obligations."

Relationship with Parliament


One of his first acts as Prime Minister was to replace the then twice-weekly 15-minute sessions of Prime Minister's Questions
Prime Minister's Questions
Prime minister's questions is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom that takes place every Wednesday during which the prime minister spends half an hour answering questions from members of parliament...

 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
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

. His style was sometimes criticised as not that of a prime minister and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, which he was, but of a president and head of state—which he was not. Blair was accused of excessive reliance on spin. He is the first British Prime Minister to have been formally questioned by police, though not under caution, while still in office.

Events prior to resignation


As the casualties of the Iraq War mounted, Blair was accused of misleading Parliament, and his popularity dropped dramatically. The Labour party's overall majority in the 2005 general election
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

 was reduced to 66.
As a combined result of the Blair-Brown pact, Iraq war and low approval ratings, pressure built up within the Labour party for Blair to resign. On 7 September 2006, Blair publicly stated he would step down as party leader by the time of the Trades Union Congress
Trades Union Congress
The Trades Union Congress is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, representing the majority of trade unions...

 (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. At a special party conference in Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 on 24 June 2007, he formally handed over the leadership of the Labour Party to Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

, who had been Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

. Blair tendered his resignation on 27 June 2007 and his successor, Gordon Brown assumed office the same afternoon. He also resigned his seat in the House of Commons in the traditional form of accepting the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds
Chiltern Hundreds
Appointment to the office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham is a sinecure appointment which is used as a device allowing a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament to resign his or her seat...

 to which he was appointed by Gordon Brown in one of the latter's last acts as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The resulting Sedgefield by-election
Sedgefield by-election, 2007
The Sedgefield by-election, 2007 was a by-election held on 19 July 2007 for the British House of Commons constituency of Sedgefield in County Durham...

 was won by Labour's candidate, 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


In 2001, Blair said, "We are a left of centre party, pursuing economic prosperity and social justice as partners and not as opposites".
Blair has rarely applied such labels to himself, but he promised before the 1997 election that New Labour would govern "from the radical centre", and according to one lifelong Labour Party member, has always described himself as a social democrat
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

. However, Labour Party backbenchers and other left wing critics typically place Blair to the right of centre. A YouGov
YouGov
YouGov, formerly known as PollingPoint in the United States, is an international internet-based market research firm launched in the UK in May 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare, now Chief Executive Officer, and Nadhim Zahawi...

 opinion poll in 2005 also found that a small majority of British voters, including many New Labour supporters, place Blair on the right of the political spectrum. The Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

on the other hand has argued that Blair is not conservative, but instead a populist. The new Clause IV
Clause IV
Clause IV historically refers to part of the 1918 text of the British Labour Party constitution which set out the aims and values of the party. Before its revision in 1995, its application was the subject of considerable dispute.-Text:...

 of the Labour Party's constitution defines the party as "Democratic Socialist".

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 have argued that Blair has overseen the final stage of a long term shift of the Labour Party to the right, and that very little now remains of a Labour Left. There is also evidence that Blair's long term dominance of the centre has forced his Conservative opponents to shift a long distance to the left, in order to challenge his hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 there.

Blair has raised taxes (but did not increase income tax for high-earners); introduced a minimum wage and some new employment rights (while keeping Margaret Thatcher's anti-trade union legislation); introduced significant constitutional reforms; promoted new rights for gay people in the Civil Partnership Act 2004
Civil Partnership Act 2004
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Bill for this Act was introduced by the Labour government and supported by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition. The Act grants civil partnerships in the United Kingdom with rights and...

; 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; sought to reduce certain categories of welfare payments, and introduced tough anti-terrorism and identity card legislation. Under Blair's government the amount of new legislation increased which attracted criticism. Blair increased police powers by adding to the number of arrestable offences, compulsory DNA recording and the use of dispersal orders.

Environmental record


Blair has criticised other governments for not doing enough to solve global climate change
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

. 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
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 and said that climate change "cannot be ignored", insisting "we need to go beyond even Kyoto
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

." His record at home tends to say something different. Blair and his party have promised a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide but during his term the emissions rose. The Labour Party also claimed that by 2010 10% of the energy would come from renewable resources but in fact only 3% currently does.

In 2000 Blair "flagged up" 100 million euros for green policies and urged environmentalists and businesses to work together.

Relationship with the United States



Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, Blair formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, particularly in the area of foreign policy. At one point, Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 described Blair as "the U.S. foreign minister". Blair has also often openly been referred to as "Bush's poodle". Kendall Myers
Kendall Myers
Walter Kendall Myers is a retired U.S. State Department Officer who, with his wife, Gwendolyn, was arrested and indicted on June 4, 2009, on charges of nearly 30 years of spying for Cuba.-Background:...

, a senior analyst at the State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, reportedly said that he felt "a little ashamed" of Bush's treatment of the Prime Minister and that his attempts to influence US policy were typically ignored: "It was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes... There was nothing, no payback, no sense of reciprocity".

For his part, Bush lauded Blair and the UK. In his post-11 September 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 many British people. Blair argued it is 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 serious discussion of the term "Poodle-ism" in the UK media, to describe the "Special Relationship
Special relationship
The Special Relationship is a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill...

" 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" was recorded when they did not know a microphone was live at the G8 conference in Russia in 2006.

Middle East policy and links with Israel


According to comments in the book, Blair, written by Anthony Seldon
Anthony Seldon
Dr. Anthony F. Seldon MA, PhD, FRSA, MBA, FRHistS is a political commentator best known as Tony Blair's biographer and the Master of Wellington College...

, Blair had a deep feeling for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, born in part from his faith. Blair has been a long time member of the pro-Israel lobby group Labour Friends of Israel
Labour Friends of Israel
Labour Friends of Israel is a lobby group promoting support within the British Labour Party for a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and Israel. It also seeks to strengthen ties between the British and the Israeli Labour party...

.

In 1994, Blair met Michael Levy, later Lord Levy
Michael Levy, Baron Levy
Michael Abraham Levy, Baron Levy, is President of Community Service Volunteers Jewish Care, Jewish Free School and Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade ....

, a pop music mogul and fundraiser. Blair and Levy became close friends and tennis partners.

During his first visit to Israel, Blair thought the Israelis bugged him in his car. He also went on to claim that the Israeli prime minister was merely an "armour-plated bullshitter".

Levy ran the Labour Leader's Office Fund to finance Blair's campaign before the 1997 General Election and raised £12m towards Labour’s landslide victory, Levy was rewarded with a peerage
Life peer
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles cannot be inherited. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as...

, and in 2002, Blair appointed 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
Father of the House
Father of the House is a term that has by tradition been unofficially bestowed on certain members of some national legislatures, most notably the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. In some legislatures the term refers to the oldest member, but in others it refers the longest-serving member.The...

 of Commons, suggested in 2003 that Blair's foreign policy decisions were unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers, including Levy and Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner...

.

Blair, on coming to office, had been 'cool towards the right-wing Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

 government'. After the election in 1999 of Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

, with whom Blair forged a close relationship, he became much more sympathetic to Israel. From 2001 Blair also built up a relationship with Barak's successor, Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

, and responded positively to Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, 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
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, 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
Road map for peace
The roadmap for peace or "road map" for peace is a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by a "quartet" of international entities: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations. The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service...

 which included the retaining of Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

s on the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

.

In 2006 Blair was criticised for his failure to immediately call for a ceasefire in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

. The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

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
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 on Middle East policy.

In March 2010 the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments
Advisory Committee on Business Appointments
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is an non-departmental public body in the UK, which was set up in 1975 to provide advice on applications from the most senior Crown servants who wish to take up outside appointments after they leave Crown service. Since 1995 it has also provided...

 revealed that 14 months after resigning as Prime Minister, Blair had served as a paid business consultant to an oil firm with interests in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. The news raised concerns that he had profited financially from contacts he made during the Iraq war.

Rupert Murdoch


Blair was reported to have been supported by Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

 the founder of the News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 organisation
Media conglomerate
A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet...

. In 1995, while leader of the Opposition, Blair disclosed in the Commons register of interests that he was a guest of Murdoch when he flew to meet him in Hayman Island
Hayman Island
Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands, part of the Cumberland Islands, which are located off the coast of Central Queensland, Australia at...

.

Contacts with UK media proprietors


A Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office
The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom....

 freedom of information
Freedom of information
Freedom of information refers to the protection of the right to freedom of expression with regards to the Internet and information technology . Freedom of information may also concern censorship in an information technology context, i.e...

 response, released the day after Blair handed over power to Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

, documents Blair having various official phone calls and meetings with Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

 of News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 and Richard Desmond
Richard Desmond
Richard Clive Desmond is an English publisher and businessman. He is the owner of Express Newspapers and founder in 1974 of Northern & Shell, which publishes various celebrity magazines, such as OK! and New!, and British national newspapers Daily Star and Daily Express...

 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, including the eve of the 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 three and a half year battle by the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

' Lord Avebury. Lord Avebury's initial October 2003 information request was dismissed by then leader of the Lords, Baroness Amos. A following complaint was rejected, with Downing Street
Downing Street
Downing Street in London, England has for over two hundred years housed the official residences of two of the most senior British cabinet ministers: the First Lord of the Treasury, an office now synonymous with that of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Second Lord of the Treasury, an...

 claiming the information compromised free and frank discussions, while Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office
The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom....

 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."

Media portrayal


Blair is acknowledged by most to be a highly skilful media performer who comes over as charismatic, informal, and articulate. A few months after becoming Prime Minister he gave a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 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
Prime Minister's Official Spokesman
The Prime Minister's Spokesman is a position in the United Kingdom Civil Service, located in the Prime Minister's Office in 10 Downing Street and utilised by the British Prime Minister...

 (the two roles have since been separated). Blair's first PMOS was Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell
Alastair John Campbell is a British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known for his work as Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, having first started working for Blair in 1994...

, 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
Hutton Inquiry
The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee...

.

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.

Blair forged friendships with several conservative European leaders, including Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 of Italy, Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

 of Germany and more recently Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 of France.

Gordon Brown



After the death of John Smith
John Smith (UK politician)
John Smith was a British Labour Party politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party from July 1992 until his sudden death from a heart attack in May 1994...

 in 1994, Blair and his close colleague Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 (they shared an office at the 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
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

, John Prescott
John Prescott
John Leslie Prescott, Baron Prescott is a British politician who was Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. Born in Prestatyn, Wales, he represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament from 1970 to 2010...

, 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.

Diplomacy


On 27 June 2007, Blair officially resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 after ten years in office, and he was officially confirmed as Middle East envoy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 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 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.

During the first nine days of the 2008–2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, Blair was allegedly spotted at the opening of the Armani store at Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

. Aides said he had been in phone contact with other world leaders since the fighting began.

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
Zurich Financial Services
Zurich Financial Services AG is a major financial services group based in Zurich, Switzerland.-History:The Company was founded in 1872 as subsidiary of the Schweiz Marine Insurance Company under the name Versicherung Verein...

 on climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

. Some sources have claimed that his role at JP Morgan will pay more than $1m a year. This additional salary will contribute to annual earnings of over £7m.

Blair also gives lectures and earns up to US$250,000 for a 90-minute speech. Yale University announced on 7 March 2008 that Blair will teach a course on issues of faith and globalisation at the Yale Schools of Management
Yale School of Management
The Yale School of Management is the graduate business school of Yale University and is located on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. The School offers Master of Business Administration and Ph.D. degree programs. As of January 2011, 454 students were enrolled in its MBA...

 and Divinity
Yale Divinity School
Yale Divinity School is a professional school at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. preparing students for ordained or lay ministry, or for the academy...

 as a Howland distinguished fellow
Howland Memorial Prize
The Henry Howland Memorial Prize at Yale was created in 1915 for a "citizen of any country in recognition of some achievement of marked distinction in the field of literature or fine arts or the science of government." The idealistic quality of the recipient's work is an important factor in his...

 during the 2008–09 academic year.

Blair's links with, and receipt of an undisclosed sum from, UI Energy Corporation
UI Energy Corporation
UI Energy Corporation is a Korean company founded in 1987 . Its areas of interest include the development of resources and minerals, power plants and the supply of medical equipments...

, a Korean company with oil interests in northern Iraq, have also been subject to media comment in the UK.

Speculation places his personal wealth at £60 million, mostly earned since his tenure as Prime Minister, and owns nine properties around the world. 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 has established Tony Blair Associates. This firm will "allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on a commercial and pro bono [free] basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform." However, Blair has been the subject of criticism for apparent conflicts of interest that allow the former prime minister, now a Middle East peace envoy, to earn large sums of money, both directly and through Tony Blair Associates.

In the Quartet


Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath is a senior Palestinian official who has held the following titles:*Palestinian chief negotiator*Palestinian cabinet minister*Palestinian International Co-operation Minister*Planning Minister for the Palestinian National Authority...

, a senior Abbas associate, said that Blair was acting as Israel's "defence attorney" in face of Abbas' application for a Palestinian state
International recognition of the State of Palestine
The State of Palestine was proclaimed on 15 November 1988 in Algiers at an extraordinary session in exile of the Palestine National Council. Legal justification for this act was based on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, which provided for the termination and...

 to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations. According to a recent episode of the investigative documentary series Dispatches,
Dispatches (TV series)
Dispatches is the British television current affairs documentary series on Channel 4, first transmitted in 1987. The programme covers issues about British society, politics, health, religion, international current affairs and the environment, usually featuring a mole in an organisation.-Awards:*...

 on the UK's Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

, Blair has used his Quartet
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, 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 peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

 role to gain introductions and proximity to Arab leaders, with whom he then signed private consulting contracts for Tony Blair Associates. He obtained one such contract, worth $40m from the Emir of Kuwait, to advise on reforms, and another from the rulers of the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. Blair was instrumental in lobbying Israel to release frequencies in November 2009 for mobile phone company Wataniya to operate in the occupied West Bank. Wataniya is owned by the Qatari telecoms giant Q-Tel which bought Wataniya in 2007 with a $2 billions, loan arranged by the bank JP Morgan, according to Dispatches. Blair also works for JP Morgan, which pays him over $2m a year for providing "strategic" advice. JP Morgan stood to make "substantial profits" if the deal went through, the British documentary said. Israel had tied approval of Wataniya's frequencies to the PA
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 dropping efforts to pursue the Goldstone report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza
United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, known as the Goldstone Report, was a team established in April 2009 by the United Nations Human Rights Council during the Gaza War as an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate alleged violations of international...

, through the UN. Blair also brokered another major deal with Israel for British Gas
British Gas
British Gas is the name of several companies:* British Gas plc, the former gas monopoly in the United Kingdom and its successor companies** Centrica, which has the rights to the British Gas name in the UK...

 to secure contracts to exploit natural gas fields worth up to $6 billions, in the territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 of the Gaza Strip. Blair negotiated the deal directly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

. No Palestinians in Gaza were ever consulted. Apparently Blair is not bound by any of the conflict of interest and disclosure regulations governing UN employees, or British officials even though government funds support his Jerusalem office. In 2007, the United Nations Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People spent over $400,000 on three armoured cars for Blair.

European Council president speculation


In 2009, there was speculation in the media that Blair was open to the idea of becoming the first President of the European Council
European Council
The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy...

, a post created in the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

 that would come into force in 2009, if successfully ratified. Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 added his support, but noted that it was premature to discuss candidates before the treaty was approved. A spokesman for Blair did not rule out him accepting the post, but said that he was concentrating on his current role in the Middle East. Blair was later invited to speak on European issues at a rally of President Sarkozy's party, the Union for a Popular Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

, on 12 January 2008, which fuelled speculation further.

There was opposition to Blair's candidacy for the job. In the UK, the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 and the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 both said they would oppose Blair. In Germany, the leader of the Free Democrats
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

, Guido Westerwelle
Guido Westerwelle
Guido Westerwelle [] is a German liberal politician, who, since 28 October 2009, has been serving as the Foreign Minister in the second cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and who was Vice Chancellor of Germany from 2009 to 2011. He is the first openly gay person to hold either of those positions...

, said that he preferred a candidate from a smaller European country. The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker is a Luxembourg politician, 23rd and current Prime Minister of Luxembourg, since 20 January 1995. He is the longest standing head of government of any European Union state...

 emerged as a rival to Blair's candidacy and had the backing for many of the smaller European member states. In November 2009, the Belgian PM Herman Van Rompuy
Herman Van Rompuy
Herman Achille Van Rompuy is the first long-term and full-time President of the European Council...

 was named President of the European Council
President of the European Council
The President of the European Council is a principal representative of the European Union on the world stage, and the person presiding over and driving forward the work of the European Council...

.

Charity


On 14 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
Tony Blair Faith Foundation
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation was established by Tony Blair in May 2008.-The Foundation:The Foundation was launched in May 2008 in New York at the headquarters of media group Time Warner. In his speech Blair outlined its aim that "idealism becomes the new realism", and that one of its goals was...

 as a vehicle for encouraging different faiths to join together 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.

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. It was announced on 16 August 2010 that Blair would give the £4.6 million advance and all royalties from his memoirs to a sports centre for badly injured soldiers. 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
The Late Late Show
The Late Late Show, sometimes referred to as The Late Late, or in some cases by the acronym LLS, is the world's longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster and the official flagship television programme of Irish broadcasting company RTÉ...

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's
Eason & Son
Eason & Son is a group involved in the wholesale, distribution and retail of books, newspapers, magazines, stationery and cards on the island of Ireland ....

 bookstore on O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street is Dublin's main thoroughfare. It measures 49 m in width at its southern end, 46 m at the north, and is 500 m in length...

 in Dublin, with angry activists chanting "war criminal" and that he had "blood on his hands", and clashing with Irish Police (Garda Síochána
Garda Síochána
, more commonly referred to as the Gardaí , is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.- Terminology :...

) 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
Citizen's arrest
A citizen's arrest is an arrest made by a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official. In common law jurisdictions, the practice dates back to medieval Britain and the English common law, in which sheriffs encouraged ordinary citizens to help apprehend law breakers.Despite the...

 for war crimes. Social networking media have been used to protest Blair's policies and legacy of unjustified and criminal war on Iraq.

Appearances


Blair made an animated cameo appearance as himself in The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

episode, "The Regina Monologues
The Regina Monologues
"The Regina Monologues" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons fifteenth season, and originally aired November 23, 2003 in the United States. It was written by John Swartzwelder, and directed by Mark Kirkland. The episode sees the Simpson family travel to the United Kingdom on holiday. There, they...

" (2003) He has also appeared himself at the end of the first episode of The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, a British TV series about an unknown housewife becoming Prime Minister. On 14 March 2007, Blair appeared as a celebrity judge on Masterchef goes Large after contestants had to prepare a three course meal in the Downing Street kitchens for Blair and Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern
Patrick Bartholomew "Bertie" Ahern is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008....

. On 16 March 2007, Blair featured in a comedy sketch with Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate is an English actress, writer, and comedian. She has won numerous awards for her work on the sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and four BAFTA Awards...

, who appeared in the guise of her character Lauren Cooper
Lauren Cooper
Dame Lauren Alesha Masheka Tanesha Felicia Jane Cooper is a fictional character in The Catherine Tate Show. Lauren is one of the show's main characters and is played by Catherine Tate...

 from The Catherine Tate Show
The Catherine Tate Show
The Catherine Tate Show is a British television sketch comedy written by Catherine Tate and Aschlin Ditta. Tate also stars in all but one of the show's sketches, which feature a wide range of characters. The Catherine Tate Show airs on BBC Two and is shown worldwide through the BBC...

. 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
Michael Sheen
Michael Christopher Sheen, OBE , is a Welsh stage and screen actor. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England and made his professional debut opposite Vanessa Redgrave in When She Danced at the Globe Theatre in 1991...

 has portrayed Blair three times, in the films The Deal (2003), The Queen
The Queen (film)
The Queen is a 2006 British drama film directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Helen Mirren as the title role, HM Queen Elizabeth II...

(2006), and The Special Relationship
The Special Relationship (film)
The Special Relationship is a 2010 American-British political film directed by Richard Loncraine from a screenplay by Peter Morgan. It is the third film in Morgan's informal "Blair trilogy", which dramatizes the political career of British Prime Minister Tony Blair , following The Deal and The...

(2009). Blair was portrayed by Robert Lindsay
Robert Lindsay (actor)
Robert Lindsay is an English actor who is best known for his television work, especially his roles of Wolfie Smith in Citizen Smith, Michael Murray in G.B.H., Captain Sir Edward Pellew in Hornblower and Ben Harper in My Family which has been on television screens since 2000.-Early life:Lindsay was...

 in the TV programme A Very Social Secretary (2005), and reprised the role in The Trial of Tony Blair
The Trial of Tony Blair
The Trial of Tony Blair is a satirical drama, based around the notion that the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair is to face charges of war crimes by an international tribunal, following his departure from 10 Downing Street...

(2007). He was also portrayed by James Larkin
James Larkin (actor)
James Larkin is an English actor, most notable for his portrayal of the character Dylan in EastEnders and as Tony Blair in the 2005 The Government Inspector. He has also written Int...

 in The Government Inspector
The Government Inspector (television drama)
The Government Inspector is a 2005 television drama based on the life of Dr. David Kelly and the lead-up to the Iraq War in the United Kingdom...

(2005), and by Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd is a Welsh actor.Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he started off in Welsh language film productions, then came to international attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the film Titanic , and as Lt. John Beales in Black Hawk Down...

 in W.
W. (film)
W. is a 2008 American film based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush. It was produced and directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stanley Weiser, and stars Josh Brolin as Bush, with a cast that includes Ellen Burstyn, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott...

(2008).

Blair in fiction and satire


When Blair resigned as Prime Minister, Robert Harris
Robert Harris (novelist)
Robert Dennis Harris is an English novelist. He is a former journalist and BBC television reporter.-Early life:Born in Nottingham, Harris spent his childhood in a small rented house on a Nottingham council estate. His ambition to become a writer arose at an early age, from visits to the local...

, a former Fleet Street
Fleet Street
Fleet Street is a street in central London, United Kingdom, named after the River Fleet, a stream that now flows underground. It was the home of the British press until the 1980s...

 political editor, dropped his other work to write The Ghost
The Ghost (novel)
The Ghost is a contemporary political thriller by the best-selling English novelist and journalist Robert Harris.In 2007 British prime minister Tony Blair resigned. Harris, a former Fleet Street political editor, dropped his other work to write the book...

. The CIA-influenced British Prime Minister in the book is said to be a thinly disguised version of Blair. In November 2007 it was announced that Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few "truly international filmmakers."...

 was to direct the film version of the novel, and would be writing the script with Harris. The film was released in February 2010 in the US. Polanski's film saw Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE is an Irish actor, film producer and environmentalist. After leaving school at 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration, but trained at the Drama Centre in London for three years...

 portray former-Prime Minister Adam Lang, and dramatises Blair's relationship with the United States, as well as the possibility of war crime charges.

Styles from 1983 election

  • Mr Anthony Charles Lynton Blair MP (1983–1994)
  • The Rt Hon
    The Right Honourable
    The Right Honourable is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Anglophone Caribbean and other Commonwealth Realms, and occasionally elsewhere...

    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair MP (1994–2007)
  • The Rt Hon Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (2007–)

Honours


  • Privy Councillor
    Privy Council of the United Kingdom
    Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

     (1994)
  • Congressional Gold Medal (2003)
  • Honorary Doctor of Law
    Doctor of law
    Doctor of Law or Doctor of Laws is a doctoral degree in law. The application of the term varies from country to country, and includes degrees such as the LL.D., Ph.D., J.D., J.S.D., and Dr. iur.-Argentina:...

     (LL.D.) from Queen's University Belfast (2008)
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
    Presidential Medal of Freedom
    The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

     (2009)
  • Dan David Prize
    Dan David Prize
    The Dan David Prize annually awards 3 prizes of $1 million each awarded by the Dan David Foundation and Tel Aviv University to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, culture or social welfare. There are three prize categories - past, present and...

     (2009)
  • Liberty Medal (2010)


In May 2007, before his resignation, it was reported that Blair would be offered a knighthood in the Order of the Thistle
Order of the Thistle
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order...

, owing to his Scottish connections (rather than the Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

, which is usually offered to former Prime Ministers). No such move has been made since, and Blair has reportedly indicated that he does not want the traditional knighthood or peerage bestowed on former prime ministers.

On 22 May 2008, Blair received an honorary law doctorate from Queen's University Belfast, alongside former Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

 Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern
Patrick Bartholomew "Bertie" Ahern is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008....

, for distinction in public service and roles in the Northern Ireland peace process
Northern Ireland peace process
The peace process, when discussing the history of Northern Ireland, is often considered to cover the events leading up to the 1994 Provisional Irish Republican Army ceasefire, the end of most of the violence of the Troubles, the Belfast Agreement, and subsequent political developments.-Towards a...

.

On 13 January 2009, Blair was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. 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
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 and his role in achieving peace in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 as two reasons for justifying his being presented with the award.

On 16 February 2009, Blair was awarded the Dan David Prize
Dan David Prize
The Dan David Prize annually awards 3 prizes of $1 million each awarded by the Dan David Foundation and Tel Aviv University to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, culture or social welfare. There are three prize categories - past, present and...

 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 13 September 2010, Blair was awarded the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is an organization that seeks to expand awareness and understanding of the United States Constitution and operates a museum to advance those purposes....

 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was presented by former President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, 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.

Works

  • Blair, Tony (2010). A Journey Random House
    Random House
    Random House, Inc. is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It has been owned since 1998 by the German private media corporation Bertelsmann and has become the umbrella brand for Bertelsmann book publishing. Random House also has a movie production arm, Random House Films,...

    , ISBN 009192555X OCLC Number 657172683 London
  • Blair, Tony (2002). The Courage of Our Convictions Fabian Society
    Fabian Society
    The Fabian Society is a British socialist movement, whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist, rather than revolutionary, means. It is best known for its initial ground-breaking work beginning late in the 19th century and continuing up to World...

    , ISBN 0-7163-0603-4 London
  • Blair, Tony (2000). Superpower: Not Superstate? (Federal Trust European Essays) Federal Trust for Education & Research, ISBN 1-903403-25-1 London
  • Blair, Tony (1998). The Third Way: New Politics for the New Century Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0588-7 London
  • Blair, Tony (1998). Leading the Way: New Vision for Local Government Institute for Public Policy Research
    Institute for Public Policy Research
    The IPPR is the leading progressive think-tank in the UK. It produces research and policy ideas committed to upholding values of social justice, democratic reform and environmental sustainability. IPPR is based in London and IPPR North has branches in Newcastle and Manchester.It was founded in...

    , ISBN 1-86030-075-8 London
  • Blair, Tony (1997). New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country Basic Books
    Basic Books
    Basic Books is a book publisher founded in 1952 and located in New York. It publishes books in the fields of psychology, philosophy, economics, science, politics, sociology, current affairs, and history.-History:...

    , ISBN 0-8133-3338-5 New York
  • Blair, Tony (1995). Let Us Face the Future Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0571-2 London
  • Blair, Tony (1994). What Price Safe Society? Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0562-3 London
  • Blair, Tony (1994). Socialism Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0565-8 London

See also

  • Bush-Blair memo
    Bush-Blair memo
    The Bush–Blair 2003 Iraq memo or Manning memo was a secret memo of a meeting between American President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair that took place on January 31, 2003 in the White House...

  • Blair Ministry
    Blair Ministry
    Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for three successive parliamentary terms from 1997-2007. His Cabinet was reshuffled for each new parliament as well as changed during the three periods.-Formation:...

  • Blairism
  • 'Cash for Honours' scandal
  • Cultural depictions of Tony Blair
    Cultural depictions of Tony Blair
    This page is a list of depictions of Tony Blair onstage, in film and in other forms of fiction.-Television drama and film:* The Tony Blair Witch Project - Mike Martinez* The Deal - Michael Sheen...

  • Impeach Blair campaign
    Impeach Blair campaign
    On 26 August 2004, a cross-party group of British MPs announced their campaign to impeach the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time, Tony Blair for high crimes and misdemeanours.A campaign to impeach the US President, George W...

  • Labour Party leadership election, 2007
    Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2007
    The 2007 Labour Party Leadership Election was formally triggered on 10 May 2007 by the resignation of Tony Blair, Labour Leader since the previous leadership contest on 21 July 1994...

  • Politics of the United Kingdom
    Politics of the United Kingdom
    The politics of the United Kingdom takes place within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is the head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government...

  • Tony Blair Faith Foundation‎
  • Electoral history of Tony Blair
    Electoral history of Tony Blair
    This is a summary of the electoral history of Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...


Miscellany

  • Blair, T. (2004) "Blair, The Right Hon. A. C. L." from Who's Who, 156th ed., London: A & C Black
    A & C Black
    A & C Black is a British book publishing company.The firm was founded in 1807 by Adam and Charles Black in Edinburgh, and moved to the Soho district of London in 1889. In 1851, the firm bought the copyright of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels for £27,000. In 1902 it published P. G...

  • Halsbury's Laws of England
    Halsbury's Laws of England
    Halsbury's Laws of England is a uniquely comprehensive and authoritative encyclopaedia of law, and provides the only complete narrative statement of law in England and Wales. It has an alphabetised title scheme covering all areas of law, drawing on authorities including Acts of the United Kingdom,...

     (2004), reference to impeachment in volume on Constitutional Law
    Constitutional law
    Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary....

     and Human Rights
    Human rights
    Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

    , paragraph 416
  • The Queen
    The Queen (film)
    The Queen is a 2006 British drama film directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Helen Mirren as the title role, HM Queen Elizabeth II...

    (2006 film)

External links



|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-

|-

|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-