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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Tony Blair

Tony Blair  was born in Edinburgh, Scotland  to Leo and Hazel Blair on May 6, 1953. His father, the illegitimate son of two English actors, had been adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife, Mary. His mother was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman.

Blair boarded at Fettes Colleges, a prestigious independent school in Edinburgh. 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.

Blair sung and played guitar in a band called Ugly Rumours while at university.

After graduating from Oxford in 1975 with a Second Class Honours BA in Jurisprudence, Blair became a member of Lincolns Inn, enrolled as a pupil barrister.

As a barrister, Blair once represented employers in a battle to deny female factory workers holiday pay.

He met his future wife, Cherie Blair at the law chambers founded by Derry Irvine (who was to be Blair's first Lord Chancellor).

Blair married Cherie Booth, a Roman Catholic and future Queens Counsel, on March 29, 1980. She is the daughter of the actor, Tony Booth.

Blair with wife, Cherie Booth, touring the Amber Room during a visit to Russia, 2003

They have four children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, and Leo. All four children have Irish passports, by virtue of Blair's mother Hazel.

On May 20, 2000 Tony Blair became the first sitting Prime Minister in over 150 father a child when Cherie gave birth to their youngest son Leo.

Blair joined the Labour Party shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975. In 1983, Blair found the newly created constituency of Sedgefield, a notionally safe Labour seat near where he had grown up in Durham. He was elected as MP for Sedgefield that year despite the party's landslide defeat in the general election.

He was chosen as leader of the Labour Party following the death of John Smith on July 21, 1994.

On May 1, 1997 the voters of the United Kingdom dispatched the Conservative Party into opposition after 18 years in power and replaced it with the Labour Party and a new Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Her was 43 year 11 months and 5 days when he became Prime Minister, the youngest tenant of Number 10 since Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool who was appointed in 1812, when he was 42 years, 1 day.

Tony Blair in Saint Petersburg

Blair won his third general election in 2005. By then he was the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister and the only person to have led the party to three consecutive general election victories.

Tony Blair resigned as British Prime Minister on June 27, 2007 and on the same day took up the appointment of the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East.

Blair has had his political views motivated by his Christian beliefs and was possibly the most devout British Prime Minister since Gladstone. A High Church Anglican, he frequently attended Catholic services with his equally devout Roman Catholic wife, Cherie. 

On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Blair had converted to the Catholic faith, and that it was "a private matter."

On standing down as prime minister in 2007, he became a Middle East special envoy for the ‘Quartet’ – the USA, European Union, Russia, and the United Nations.

50th Munich Security Conference 2014: Tony Blair: 

All things to all men Tony Blair told a Labour Party magazine that his favorite food is fish and chips and the Islington Cookbook that it is “fresh fettuccine garnished with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and capers.”

AS Prime Minister, Tony Blair earned £163,000 - more than any of his successors. Gordon Brown reduced his salary to £ 150,000, and David Cameron took a 5 per cent pay cut, earning £142,500.

On Desert Island Discs Tony Blair chose a guitar as his luxury item.

Sources Wikipedia, Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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