TONY Blair is godfather to Rupert Murdoch's youngest children, according to an interview with the media tycoon's wife.
The former UK prime minister was reportedly present in March last year when Murdoch's two daughters by his third wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, were baptised by the banks of the Jordan.
The information was not made public and its emergence -- in an interview with Mrs Deng Murdoch in 'Vogue' magazine -- will prove embarrassing for Mr Blair.
His close ties to the Murdochs could explain his reluctance to condemn the News International phone hacking scandal.
In July, it was reported that he asked Gordon Brown to put pressure on Tom Watson, the Labour MP who helped expose the scandal, to drop his investigation. Mr Blair's spokesman categorically denied the allegation.
When the baptism was splashed across the pages of a magazine last year, Nicole Kidman and her fellow Australian actor Hugh Jackman were named as godparents. No mention was made of Mr Blair's role and he did not appear in pictures of the ceremony, which took place at the spot where it is said that Jesus was baptised.
Last night, Mr Blair's spokesman refused to comment. Nobody from News International was available to confirm it on behalf of the Murdochs.
The article claims Mr Blair attended the baptism "garbed in white".
Mr Blair and Mrs Deng Murdoch have a mutual friend in Queen Rania of Jordan, who hosted the baptism. Both women were recently on the judging panel for a film prize organised by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)