Tony Blair

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007

Sir Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He was Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007. On the day he stood down as Prime Minister and MP, he was made official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.[1]

Tony Blair

Portrait of Tony Blair in 2010
Blair in 2010
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
2 May 1997 – 27 June 2007
MonarchElizabeth II
DeputyJohn Prescott
Preceded byJohn Major
Succeeded byGordon Brown
Leader of the Opposition
In office
21 July 1994 – 2 May 1997
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterJohn Major
DeputyJohn Prescott
Preceded byMargaret Beckett
Succeeded byJohn Major
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
21 July 1994 – 24 June 2007
DeputyJohn Prescott
General SecretaryTom Sawyer
Margaret McDonagh
David Triesman
Matt Carter
Peter Watt
ChairmanCharles Clarke
John Reid
Ian McCartney
Hazel Blears
Preceded byJohn Smith
Succeeded byGordon Brown
Shadow Cabinet positions
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
24 July 1992 – 24 October 1994
Preceded byRoy Hattersley
Succeeded byJack Straw
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment
In office
2 November 1989 – 24 July 1992
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byMichael Meacher
Succeeded byFrank Dobson
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy
In office
23 November 1988 – 2 November 1989
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byJohn Prescott
Succeeded byFrank Dobson
Shadow Minister for Trade
In office
13 July 1987 – 23 November 1988
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byBryan Gould
Succeeded byRobin Cook
Member of Parliament
for Sedgefield
In office
9 June 1983 – 27 June 2007
Preceded byConstituency created[nb]
Succeeded byPhil Wilson
Personal details
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

(1953-05-06) 6 May 1953 (age 71)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political partyLabour
Cherie Booth (m. 1980)
ParentsLeo Blair (father)
RelativesWilliam Blair (brother)
Alma mater
WebsiteInstitute for Global Change
n.b. ^ Electorate abolished on 28 February 1974 and reconstituted on 8 June 1983.

Blair was elected Leader of the Labour Party in the 1994 leadership election following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under Blair's leadership the party abandoned many policies it had held for decades. Labour won a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, which ended 18 years of Conservative rule with the heaviest Conservative defeat since 1832.[2]

He was the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister and the only leader to have taken the party to three uninterrupted general election victories.

Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer during all Blair's ten years in office, succeeded him as party leader and Prime Minister in 2007.[3]

Early life change

Blair was born at Queen Mary Maternity Home in Edinburgh on 6 May 1953. He was the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair. Blair joined the Labour Party in 1975.

Career change

Blair was a lawyer before becoming a politician. He married Cherie Booth, also a lawyer, who graduated from the London School of Economics with a first-class honours degree. Blair himself left Oxford University with a second-class degree. They have four children: Euan, Nicky, Kathryn, and Leo. There was a controversy over Blair sending Euan to a grant-maintained school. As a result of this, Alastair Campbell discovered Blair "standing stark naked reading the Daily Mail."[4]

As Prime Minister change

As Leader of the Labour Party, he won the 1997, 2001 and 2005 UK general elections. Blair is the first and only Labour Party leader to have won three general elections in a row.[5]

He attributes his success in politics to a pair of "lucky brogues", which he wore for every single Prime Minister's Questions of his leadership. He claimed that "cheap shoes are a false economy".[6]

Blair strongly supported a number of elements of US foreign policy, notably participating in the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. He faced heavy criticism for this. The facts about Iraq's possible possession of weapons of mass destruction that he relied on, which later turned out to be false, led many to perceive him as dishonest. Criticism also arose for his involvement in bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999 when he supported the Kosovo Albanian UÇK guerrillas.

After-PM change

On the day of his resignation, Blair was made an official envoy in the Middle East. In 2004, he started the Commission for Africa.[7] He continued work as a commissioner after his service as Prime Minister ended.[8]

In December 2021, Queen Elizabeth II honored Blair with the Order of the Garter.[9]

References change

  1. "Blair becomes Middle East envoy". BBC News. BBC. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
  2. Kingdom, John (April 2003). Government and Politics in Britain: An Introduction (3rd ed.). Polity Press. pp. 299. ISBN 978-0745625942.
  3. "Brown is UK's new prime minister". BBC News. BBC. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
  4. "The Best Bits in the Blair Years". TimesOnline. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
  5. "History of the Labour Party". Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  6. "The Secret of His Success? A Pair of Lucky Brogues". TimesOnline. Retrieved 5 December 2009.[dead link]
  7. "Commission for Africa | Action for a strong and prosperous Africa". Archived from the original on 21 July 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  8. "Commissioners | Commission for Africa". Archived from the original on 30 July 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  9. "Blair becomes 'Sir Tony' and joins top royal order". BBC. 31 December 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2021.

Other websites change