Response to today’s Daily Mail articles

In case anyone should treat with any seriousness today’s Mail stories based on the ridiculous Bower ‘book’ we should say – for anyone who is interested in the truth – that it is a litany of invention and malice.

The allegations that Mr Blair blurs the line between charity and business is absolutely false. There are strict rules governing charities and Mr Blair adheres to them completely. So, for example, the absurd allegation that he was seeking a commercial contract from the Nigeria Government to sell it Israeli drones is a total fabrication.
There are so many other factual inaccuracies and inventions we’re not going to list them all. But this was a so-called ‘authoritative’ book that was never going to be anything other than what it is: a recycling of old garbage.
Our responses to the Mail’s statements on 29 February are below:
“Only the first allegation is new and that is utterly without substance. Everything else has been said and rebutted countless times. This is truly pathetic as a set of supposed ‘revelations’.
“All in all this litany of invention and distortion really does plumb new depths of desperation.”
Mail:
Tony Blair used classified British security information to tout for lucrative business contracts from foreign Governments, for example in May 2015 when he flew to Nigeria to meet Muhammadu Buhari and first visited the British High Commissioner for a comprehensive briefing on Boko Haram.
He ‘blurs’ the lines between his charity work and money-making activities.
Response:
“Re Nigeria, firstly, the work Mr Blair does in Nigeria with the Government is for his charities AGI and TBFF. He has never sought a business contract from the Government of Nigeria. He has never used classified British security information to ‘tout’ for business in Nigeria or anywhere else. Yes he certainly has had briefings on Boko Haram. He is very interested in Boko Haram because it concerns directly the work of his Foundation which is about countering extremism. This allegation by Bower illustrates the truly risible nature of his ‘book’.
Mail:
Mr Blair demanded a $5million a year salary from the US investment bank JP Morgan shortly after leaving No10.
Response:
“He didn’t ‘demand’ a salary from JPM. His work as Chairman of their International Advisory Council is a matter of public record.
Mail:
He was considered to be a ‘useless, useless, useless’ peace envoy by the Palestinians, and pro-Israel.
Response:
“It is true that some of those around the Palestinian leadership have been critical of Mr Blair. That is because he disagrees strongly with them over their political strategy. However there are many other Palestinians with whom he works closely and well. And he is proud to be a supporter of the two State solution which includes a secure and recognised State of Israel alongside a viable independent State of Palestine.
Mail:
Mr Blair tried to secure safe passage from Libya for Colonel Gaddafi, who he visited at least six times after leaving office.
Response:
“He has said exactly why he tried to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Libya crisis – to avoid the danger of chaos after Gaddafi fell.
You can find the email relating to the call between Mr Blair and Gaddafi here
Mr. Blair also covered this issue extensively in giving oral evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee last December. Mr. Blair submitted transcripts of his calls which made this clear. The two calls can be read here and here.

The allegations that Mr Blair blurs the line between charity and business is absolutely false. There are strict rules governing charities and Mr Blair adheres to them completely. So, for example, the absurd allegation that he was seeking a commercial contract from the Nigeria Government to sell it Israeli drones is a total fabrication.

There are so many other factual inaccuracies and inventions we’re not going to list them all. But this was a so-called ‘authoritative’ book that was never going to be anything other than what it is: a recycling of old garbage.

Our responses to the Mail’s statements on 29 February are below:

“Only the first allegation is new and that is utterly without substance. Everything else has been said and rebutted countless times. This is truly pathetic as a set of supposed ‘revelations’.

“All in all this litany of invention and distortion really does plumb new depths of desperation.”

Mail allegation:

Tony Blair used classified British security information to tout for lucrative business contracts from foreign Governments, for example in May 2015 when he flew to Nigeria to meet Muhammadu Buhari and first visited the British High Commissioner for a comprehensive briefing on Boko Haram.

He ‘blurs’ the lines between his charity work and money-making activities.

Our response:

“Re Nigeria, firstly, the work Mr Blair does in Nigeria with the Government is for his charities AGI and TBFF. He has never sought a business contract from the Government of Nigeria. He has never used classified British security information to ‘tout’ for business in Nigeria or anywhere else. Yes he certainly has had briefings on Boko Haram. He is very interested in Boko Haram because it concerns directly the work of his Foundation which is about countering extremism. This allegation by Bower illustrates the truly risible nature of his ‘book’.

Mail:

Mr Blair demanded a $5million a year salary from the US investment bank JP Morgan shortly after leaving No10.

Response:

“He didn’t ‘demand’ a salary from JPM. His work as Chairman of their International Advisory Council is a matter of public record.” 

Mail:

He was considered to be a ‘useless, useless, useless’ peace envoy by the Palestinians, and pro-Israel.

Response:

“It is true that some of those around the Palestinian leadership have been critical of Mr Blair. That is because he disagrees strongly with them over their political strategy. However there are many other Palestinians with whom he works closely and well. And he is proud to be a supporter of the two State solution which includes a secure and recognised State of Israel alongside a viable independent State of Palestine.”

Mail:

Mr Blair tried to secure safe passage from Libya for Colonel Gaddafi, who he visited at least six times after leaving office.

Response:

“He has said exactly why he tried to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Libya crisis – to avoid the danger of chaos after Gaddafi fell.

“You can find the email relating to the call between Mr Blair and Gaddafi here.”  

“Mr. Blair also covered this issue extensively in giving oral evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee last December. Mr. Blair submitted transcripts of his calls which made this clear. The two calls can be read here and here.”

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