Former Prime Minister Tony Blair hints at political comeback

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair hints at political comeback
3 min read
07 October, 2016
Despite his legacy being severely tarnished by the Iraq invasion, Tony Blair wants another shot as a politician.
Tony Blair's reputation was damaged after leading the UK to war [Getty]

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has hinted that he could make a political comeback according to an interview with the former Labour leader released Friday.

Blair, 63, made the comments to Esquire magazine shortly after announcing he was winding down his controversial but lucrative government advisory business.

He remains deeply unpopular in the UK for his role in taking the military into the 2003 Iraq war.

But Blair told Esquire that it was "an open question" what his future role would be.

"I don't know if there's a role for me... There's a limit to what I want to say about my own position at this moment," he said.

"All I can say is that this is where politics is at. Do I feel strongly about it? Yes, I do. Am I very motivated by that? Yes. Where do I go from here? What exactly do I do? That's an open question."

As leader of the Labour Party, Blair won three consecutive general elections from 1997 onwards on a platform of centrist policies.

The party has since shifted sharply to the left under veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn, a strident opponent of the Iraq war and of Blair himself.

Blair acknowledged there had been "a huge reaction" against his brand of politics but said that centrists must fight back.

He has also spoken against Brexit and believes the pro-EU camp must fight back.

"I think it's too soon to say the centre has been defeated," he said. "We've got to rise to that challenge".

Last year, Blair said he felt "more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe" after the Chilcot report found the invasion of Iraq was based on flawed evidence and badly executed.

Pollsters YouGov have found that Blair currently has a public perception rating of -63, with people they surveyed who disliked him describing him as "self-serving" and "money-grabbing".

Last month, Blair announced he was winding up Tony Blair Associates, his advisory business, which has worked with countries including oil-rich Kazakhstan.

Twitter erupted following the announcement, with many not forgiving Blair's role in leading the UK to war in Iraq.