Monday 23 October 2017

I would like to be UK prime minister again, says Tony Blair

Former British prime minister Tony Blair. Photo: Getty Images
Former British prime minister Tony Blair. Photo: Getty Images

TONY Blair has admitted he would be prepared to become Prime Minister again, in an interview marking the fifth anniversary of his resignation.

During the interview, which appears in the London Evening Standard newspaper he guest-edited today, Blair says that although he would be prepared to accept another term in office, he understood it was unlikely to ever happen.

Blair described his relationship with Gordon Brown during the interview, saying he hadn’t wanted to resign as Prime Minister, but “felt I had to” in order to avoid “a very bloody battle internally which I thought would damage the country as well as the party.”

He also accuses Brown of leading Labour to an inevitable election defeat by failing to get to grips with the identity of the party.

Blair told Evening Standard Editor Sarah Sands, “The problem for the Labour party was that it couldn’t make up its mind whether to stay New Labour or not, so it didn’t really and then in my view defeat was inevitable after that.”

Speaking of how much British politics has changed since his time as Prime Minister, Blair said that although he was in office during a period of enormous world events, including 9/11, it had been “in one sense very calm”.

“There was a predictability about government and an inherent stability. I did not foresee the tumult which would follow —the financial crisis and the aftermath of that,” he added.

Discussing his life since leaving office, Blair said: "I am seeing a lot of the world and I have learned an immense amount in the past five years. One of my regrets is that what I have learned in the last five years would have been so useful to me [as prime minister]. Because when you see how the world is developing you get a far clearer picture of some of the issues our country is grappling with."

"What I can do is contribute to the debate, whether it is Europe or the Arab spring or areas to do with economy and public service reform here."

Setting out his predictions for the future of British politics, Blair said: “I think the Lib-Dems will struggle at the next election. My advice to the Labour party is to sort ourselves out with a strong modern policy.

“Ed Miliband has made a conscious decision that he is going to keep the Labour party in the centre, and that is sensible.”

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