Tony Blair

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Tony Blair, MP

Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Labour Party. He resigned from the position in June 2007.

In January 2008, the Financial Times reported that Blair had agreed to become a part-time adviser to the global financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The newspaper reported that Blair "will use his experience and contacts to provide political and strategic advice to the US bank and participate in some client events." Blair resigned as leader of the parliamentary wing of British Labor Party in June 2007. While the fee for the position has not been disclosed, a New York recruitment firm suggested that it "was likely to be more than $1m (£500,000) a year." Blair stated that he was looking at accepting "a small handful" of similar positions with other companies. "I have always been interested in commerce and the impact of globalisation. Nowadays, the intersection between politics and the economy in different parts of the world, including the emerging markets, is very strong," he said.[1]

In government

Blair had been widely criticised from within his own party for championing the policy on Iraq of U.S. President George W. Bush. There is a general perception in the UK that Blair repeatedly misled the UK parliament and public in echoing the U.S. claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that invading and occupying Iraq was legal. As a result, some Members of Parliament have formed a group to call for impeachment hearings.

Further pressure was put on Blair in September 2004, during the UK Labour Party conference, when the London Evening Standard newspaper published details of a leaked Pentagon briefing paper, Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategic Lessons Learned. The document reveals that in October 2002, the Pentagon finalized its Full Operational Battle Plan 1003V for the Iraq war, at a time when Blair was insisting that no decisions had been made about whether to go to war.

Tony Blair is a member of the Fabian Society, the America APPG, and patron of the Foreign Policy Centre.

Sources of income

Before Tony Blair announced that he would be resigning his prime ministerial post it became known (not officially announced) that he had been offered a position at the Carlyle Group, the largest US private equity firm which is heavily involved the armaments industry.[2] It also became known that the Murdoch-press would publish his memoirs once these became available, and £4.5million signing fee had been agreed.[3]

While Blair's mostly-symbolic role as "mediator" in the Middle East has impeded him pursuing the lecture circuit, the announced rate for one lecture in China was US$500,000. On 9 January 2008, it was announced that Blair would become a "part-time senior adviser, on a salary said to exceed $1m (£500,000) a year" at JP Morgan Chase.[4] Blair left his role in the Middle East

In 2010, it was claimed by the Daily Mail, that Tony Blair Associates would earn £27 million, in a four year deal, for advising the Kuwait Government on how to govern itself. A spokesman for Blair has denied this but did confirm the company would be working with the Kuwaitis for 'several years', and had produced 'Kuwait Vision 2035', a report into the kingdom’s political and economic future.[5]

In 2012, in an interview by Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, Blair revealed he was being paid £2.5 million a year by J P Morgan, a lesser amount by Zurich Financial Services and in 2011 had earned an estimated £20 million, via Tony Blair Associates, through speeches, consultancy and government advisory work.[6]

In June 2015 Blair was appointed chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation.[7]

Consultancy and charity work

Blair has set up a complex web of companies which combines his charity work and consultancy company. Tony Blair Associates (TBA) is a consultancy firm which works for many controversial leaders around the world, including Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Rwanda and has led to Blair being criticised for making money by working with these tyrants.

The money earned from the work undergone by TBA is said to finance his charity work with The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which promotes dialogue among faiths; The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, which continues the work of his commission for Africa set up before Britain’s G8 presidency in 2005; The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which helps aspiring young sportspeople in the north-east of England; and Breaking the Deadlock, a foundation that tackles climate change.[8]

Blair has claimed that the Business model is simple, its thought to be based on Henry Kissinger Associates, set up by Henry Kissinger, and the only purpose for the complex web is to stop vindictive journalists from prying into his affairs.[9][8]

In June 2015 Blair was accused of trying to deceive people about Britain's role in the Iraq war. On their website, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation posted an article titled 'What is Isis?', giving an in-depth analysis of the terror group, however it makes little reference to the role that the US and Britain's invasion of Iraq had on the country, referring instead to 'Iraq's descent into chaos between 2003 and 2007'.[10]

Middle East

In 2007, immediately after leaving Downing Street, Blair took up a role as an envoy for the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators - the US, EU, UN and Russia.

In May 2015, according to the Financial Times, Blair's poor relations with senior Palestinian Authority figures and his business interests (Tony Blair Associates) have provoked unease in Washington and Brussels and it was reported he had written to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon 'to formally confirm that he will relinquish his role when he has fulfilled his outstanding commitments as quartet representative next month [June 2015]'.[11]

Anti-semitism

In June 2015 it was announced Blair had been appointed chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a pan-European body that campaigns for stronger laws against extremism in Europe. On his appointment, Blair said 'he will campaign against the abuse of religions which has become a “mask behind which those bent on death and destruction all too often hide”'.[12]

Blair's nuclear stance

See the Powerbase page Tony Blair: Nuclear views.

Clients

Include President Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan

Family

Affiliations

  • Senior advisor,[15] JP Morgan (http://www.jpmorgan.com/) - Investment bank, January 2008. Advised by ACOBA to "take up forthwith but, for 12 months after leaving office, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or officials on behalf of his new employer or its clients".[16]
  • The Other Club, member since 1991
  • Tony Blair Associates, February 2009. "Will allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on both a commercial and pro-bono basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform." ACOBA saw "no reason why he should not set up the firm forthwith."[17]
  • Speaking engagements, Washington Speakers Bureau Inc., October 2007. ACOBA advised "take up forthwith, the normal three-month waiting period for former Cabinet Ministers having expired, provided that he did not draw on privileged information that was available to him as Prime Minister".[16][18]
  • Consultant/senior adviser, Zurich Financial Services, January 2008. Advised by ACOBA to "take up forthwith but, for 12 months after leaving office, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or officials on behalf of his new employer or its clients."[16]

Former affiliations

Contact, References and Resources

Resources

External

Powerbase resources

Notes and References

  1. David Wighton, "Blair takes advisory position at JPMorgan", Financial Times, January 9 2008.
  2. Hamer, Rupert, "Tony Blair to join Carlyle Group?" Sunday Mirror, 22 August 2005, accessed 24 November 2008.
  3. Aaronovitch, David, "A Different Kind of Compassion," Media Lens, 10 January 2008.
  4. Wearden, Graeme, "Blair joins JP Morgan as $1m-a-year adviser," Guardian, 10 January 2008, accessed 24 November 2008.
  5. Nabila Ramdani and Tim Shipman Tony Blair's company 'to make £27m advising Kuwait on how to govern itself' The Daily Mail, 14 December 2010, accessed 27 November 2014
  6. Jonathan Petre Tony Blair earned £20m in just one year advising business bosses and foreign governments Daily Mail, 30 June 2012, accessed 27 November 2014
  7. BBC News Tony Blair takes on anti-extremism and anti-Semitism role, 4 June 2015, accessed 4 June 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Africa Report Lobbying in Africa: Nightmare on K street, 28 November 2014, accessed 4 February 2015
  9. Nicholas Watt How Tony Blair paved way for first visit by serving British PM to Kazakhstan The Guardian, 30 June 2013, accessed 4 February 2015
  10. Steven Swinford Tony Blair accused of trying to 'erase' his role in rise of Isil Telegraph, 3 June 2015, 4 June 2015.
  11. Jim Pickard and John Reed Tony Blair to step down as Middle East envoy next month Financial Times, 27 May 2015, accessed 4 June 2015.
  12. Nicholas Watt Tony Blair appointed as head of European body fighting antisemitism Guardian, 4 June 2015, accessed 4 June 2015.
  13. Antonia Molloy Tony Blair's son Euan could be parachuted into safe Labour seat at expense of veteran Bootle MP Joe Benton Independent, 11 April 2014, accessed 24 March 2015
  14. Your next MP Bootle, accessed 24 March 2015
  15. BBC, "Tony Blair joins investment bank," 10 January 2008, accessed 24 November 2008.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 27 November 2014
  17. Tenth Report 2008-2009 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 27 November 2014
  18. Speakers Washington Speakers Bureau, accessed 27 November 2014
  19. Eleventh Report 2009-2010 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 27 November 2014
  20. Simon Kerr Tony Blair eyes Abu Dhabi office as he looks to expand Middle East role Financial Times, 23 June 2014, accessed 27 November 2014