Since resigning in June 2007, Tony Blair has financially enriched himself more than any previous ex-prime minister. Reporter Peter Oborne reveals some of the sources of his new-found wealth, much of which comes from the Middle East.
On the day Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official representative Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East. By January 2009 he had set up Tony Blair Associates – his international consultancy – which handles multi-million-pound contracts in the Middle East. It is so secretive we don’t know all the locations in which they do business.
Dispatches (Channel 4) shows that at the same time as Blair is visiting Middle East leaders in his Quartet role he is receiving vast sums from some of them. If Blair represented the UK government, the EU, the IMF, the UN or the World Bank, this would not be permitted.
He would also have to declare his financial interests and be absolutely transparent about his financial dealings. But no such stringent rules govern the Quartet envoy.
However, he could opt to abide by the rules and principles of public life. They were introduced by John Major, and Tony Blair endorsed and strengthened them for all holders of public office – but chooses not to himself.