Thursday, 2 April 2009


JPMorgan Chase
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J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. JPMorgan Chase Logo
Type Public (NYSE: JPM)
Founded 1799
Headquarters Flag of the United States New York City, USA
Area served Worldwide
Key people James L. Dimon
(Chairman, President and CEO)
Michael J. Cavanagh, CFO
Industry Finance and insurance
Products Financial services
Revenue ▲ US$116.35 billion (2007)[1]
Operating income ▲ US$46.13 billion (2007)[1]
Net income ▲ US$15.36 billion (2007)[1]
Total assets ▲ US$2.30 trillion (Jan '09)[2]
Total equity ▲ US$123.22 billion ('07) [3]
Employees 228,452 (2008)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is one of the oldest financial services firms in the world. It is a leader in financial services with assets of $2.3 trillion.[4], and the largest market capitalization and deposit base of any U.S. banking institution. The hedge fund unit of JPMorgan Chase is the largest hedge fund in the United States with $34 billion in assets as of 2007.[5] Formed in 2000 when Chase Manhattan Corporation acquired J.P. Morgan & Co., the firm serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and governmental clients.

The JPMorgan brand is used by the Investment Bank as well as the Asset Management, Private Banking, Private Wealth Management, and Treasury & Securities Services Divisions. Fiduciary activity within Private Banking and Private Wealth Management is done under the aegis of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.—the actual trustee. The Chase brand is used for credit card services in the United States and Canada, the bank's retail banking activities in the United States, and commercial banking.

JP Morgan Chase is one of the Big Four Banks of United States with Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.[6]

* 1 Business
o 1.1 Key financial data
* 2 History
o 2.1 Chemical Banking Corporation
o 2.2 Chase Manhattan Bank
o 2.3 J.P. Morgan & Company
o 2.4 Bank One Corporation
o 2.5 Bear Stearns
o 2.6 Washington Mutual
o 2.7 Collegiate Funding Services
o 2.8 Other recent acquisitions
o 2.9 Acquisition History
* 3 Banking subsidiaries
* 4 Offices
* 5 Controversy
o 5.1 Legal proceedings
+ 5.1.1 WorldCom
+ 5.1.2 Enron
o 5.2 Government subsidies and incentives
o 5.3 Home Foreclosures Continue in 2009
* 6 Major sponsorships
* 7 Notable former employees
o 7.1 Business
o 7.2 Politics and public service
o 7.3 Others
* 8 Notable awards
* 9 See also
o 9.1 Index products
* 10 References
* 11 External links

[edit] Business

JPMorgan Chase’s activities are organized, for management reporting purposes, into six business segments:[7]

* Investment Bank
o Investment banking: advisory; debt and equity underwriting
* Market making and trading: Fixed income, Equity)
o Corporate lending
o Principal investing
* Retail Financial Services
o Regional banking: Cconsumer and business banking; home lending; education lending
o Mortgage banking
o Auto finance
* Card Services
o Credit cards
o Merchant acquiring
* Commercial Banking
o Middle market banking
o Mid-corporate banking
o Real estate banking
o Chase business credit
o Chase equipment leasing
o Chase Capital Corporation
* Treasury & Securities Services
o Treasury Services
o Investor Services
o Clearance and Agency
* Asset Management
o Investment management
o Private bank
o Private client services
* Corporate - Includes the company's private equity (One Equity Partners, Treasury and Corporate functions.

[edit] Key financial data
Financial data in $ millions Year 2004[8] 2005[8] 2006[8] 2007[1]
Revenue 43,097 54,533 61,437 71,372
EBITDA 7,140 13,740 22,218
Net Income 4,466 8,483 14,444 15,365
Employees 160,968 168,847 174,360 180,667

[edit] History
JPMorgan Chase logo, prior to the 2008 rebranding

JPMorgan Chase, as it exists since 2008, is the result of the combination of several large U.S. banking companies over the last decade including Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P. Morgan & Co., Bank One, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. Going back further, its predecessors include major banking firms among which are Chemical Bank, Manufacturers Hanover, First Chicago Bank, National Bank of Detroit, Texas Commerce Bank, Providian Financial and Great Western Bank.
[edit] Chemical Banking Corporation
Main article: Chemical Banking Corporation
Chemical Bank Logo used prior to its merger with Chase Manhattan Bank

The New York Chemical Manufacturing Company was founded in 1823 as a maker of various chemicals. In 1824, the company amended its charter to perform banking activities and created the Chemical Bank of New York. After 1851, the bank was separated from its parent and grew organically and through a series of mergers, most notably with Corn Exchange Bank in 1954, Texas Commerce Bank (a large bank in Texas) in 1986, and Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Company in 1991 (the first major bank merger "among equals"). At many points throughout this history, Chemical Bank was the largest bank in the United States (either in terms of assets or deposit market share).

In 1996, Chemical acquired the Chase Manhattan Corporation taking the more prominent Chase name. In 2000, the combined company acquired J.P. Morgan & Co. and combined the two names to form what is today JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPMorgan Chase retains Chemical Bank's headquarters at 277 Park Avenue and stock price history.

[edit] Chase Manhattan Bank
Main article: Chase Manhattan Bank
Logo used by Chase prior to rebranding and its merger with J.P. Morgan & Co. Created by Chermayeff & Geismar.

The Chase Manhattan Bank was formed upon the 1931 purchase of Chase National Bank (established in 1877) by the Bank of the Manhattan Company (established in 1799), the company's oldest predecessor institution. The Bank of the Manhattan Company was the creation of Aaron Burr, who transformed The Manhattan Company from a water carrier into a bank.

Led by David Rockefeller during the 1970s and the 1980s, Chase Manhattan emerged as one of the largest and most prestigious banking concerns, with leadership positions in syndicated lending, treasury and securities services, credit cards, mortgages, and retail financial services. Weakened by the real estate collapse in the early 1990s, it was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1996 but retained the Chase name. Prior to its merger with J.P. Morgan & Co., Chase acquired San Francisco-based Hambrecht & Quist in 1999 for $1.35 billion.

According to page 114 of An Empire of Wealth by John Steele Gordon, the origin of this strand of JPMorgan Chase's history runs as follows:

“At the turn of the nineteenth century, obtaining a bank charter required an act of the state legislature. This of course injected a powerful element of politics into the process and invited what today would be called corruption but then was regarded as business as usual. Hamilton's political enemy—and eventual murderer—Aaron Burr was able to create a bank by sneaking a clause into a charter for a company, called the Manhattan Company, to provide clean water to New York City. The innocuous-looking clause allowed the company to invest surplus capital in any lawful enterprise. Within six months of the company's creation, and long before it had laid a single section of water pipe, the company opened a bank, the Bank of the Manhattan Company. Still in existence, it is today J.P.Morgan Chase, the second largest bank in the United States.”

[edit] J.P. Morgan & Company
Main article: J.P. Morgan & Co.
J.P. Morgan & Co. logo prior to its merger with Chase Manhattan Bank in 2000

The heritage of the House of Morgan traces its roots back to the partnership of Drexel, Morgan & Co. which in 1895, was renamed J.P. Morgan & Co. (see also: J. Pierpont Morgan). Arguably the most influential financial institutions of its era, J.P. Morgan & Co. financed the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, which took over the business of Andrew Carnegie and others and was the world's first billion-dollar corporation. In 1895, J.P. Morgan & Co. supplied the United States government with $62 million in gold to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus of $100 million. In 1892, the company began to finance the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and led it through a series of acquisitions that made it the dominant railroad transporter in New England.
September 16, 1920: a bomb exploded in front of the headquarters of J.P. Morgan Inc. at 23 Wall Street, injuring 400 and killing 38 people.

Built in 1914, 23 Wall Street was known as the "House of Morgan," and for decades the bank's headquarters was the most important address in American finance. At noon, on September 16, 1920, a terrorist bomb exploded in front of the bank, injuring 400 and killing 38. Shortly before the bomb went off, a warning note was placed in a mailbox at the corner of Cedar Street and Broadway. The warning read: "Remember we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchists Fighters." While theories abound about who was behind the Wall Street bombing and why they did it, after twenty years of investigation the FBI rendered the file inactive in 1940 without ever finding the perpetrators.

In August 1914, Henry P. Davison, a Morgan partner, traveled to the UK and made a deal with the Bank of England to make J.P. Morgan & Co. the monopoly underwriter of war bonds for UK and France. The Bank of England became a "fiscal agent" of J.P. Morgan & Co. and vice versa. The company also invested in the suppliers of war equipment to Britain and France. Thus, the company profited from the financing and purchasing activities of the two European governments.

In the 1930s, all J.P. Morgan & Co. along with all integrated banking businesses in the United States, was required by the provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act to separate its investment banking from its commercial banking operations. J.P. Morgan & Co. chose to operate as a commercial bank, because at the time commercial lending was perceived to be more profitable and prestigious business in the post depression era. Additionally, many within J.P. Morgan believed that a change in the climate would allow the company to resume its securities businesses but it would be nearly impossible to reconstitute the bank if it were disassembled.

In 1935, after being barred from securities business for over a year, the heads of J.P. Morgan made the decision to spinoff its investment banking operations. Led by J.P. Morgan partners, Henry S. Morgan (son of Jack Morgan and grandson of J. Pierpont Morgan) and Harold Stanley, Morgan Stanley was founded on September 16, 1935 with $6.6 million of nonvoting preferred stock from J.P. Morgan partners. In order to bolster its position, in 1959, J.P. Morgan merged with the Guaranty Trust Company of New York to form the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. The bank would continue to operate as Morgan Guaranty through the 1980s before beginning to migrate back toward the use of the J.P. Morgan brand. In 1984, the group finally purchased the Purdue National Corporation of Lafayette Indiana, uniting a history between the two figures of Salmon Portland Chase and John Purdue. In 1988, the company once again began operating exclusively as J.P. Morgan & Co.

[edit] Bank One Corporation
Main article: Bank One Corporation
Bank One logo used prior to its merger with JPMorgan Chase

In 2004, JPMorgan Chase merged with Bank One Corp., bringing on board current chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon as president and COO and designating him as CEO William B. Harrison, Jr.'s successor. Dimon's pay was pegged at 90% of Harrison's. Dimon quickly made his influence felt by embarking on a cost-cutting strategy and replaced former JPMorgan Chase executives in key positions with Bank One executives—many of whom were with Dimon at Citigroup. Dimon became CEO in January 2006 and Chairman in December 2006.

Bank One Corporation was formed upon the 1998 merger between Banc One of Ohio and First Chicago NBD. These two large banking companies had themselves been created through the merger of many banks. This merger was largely considered a failure until Jamie Dimon—recently ousted as President of Citigroup—took over and reformed the new firm's practices—especially its disastrous technology mishmash inherited from the many mergers prior to this one. Mr. Dimon effected more than sufficient changes to make Bank One Corporation a viable merger partner for JPMorgan Chase.

Bank One Corporation traced its roots to First Bancgroup of Ohio, founded as a holding company for City National Bank of Columbus, Ohio and several other banks in that state, all of which were renamed "Bank One" when the holding company was renamed Bank One Corporation. With the beginning of interstate banking they spread into other states, always renaming acquired banks "Bank One", though for a long time they resisted combining them into one bank. After the NBD merger, adverse financial results led to the departure of CIO John B. McCoy, whose father and grandfather had headed Banc One and predecessors. Jamie Dimon, a former key executive of Citigroup, was brought in to head the company. JPMorgan Chase completed the acquisition of Bank One in 2004.

[edit] Bear Stearns
Main article: Bear Stearns
Bear Stearns logo

At the end of 2007, Bear Stearns was the fifth largest investment bank in the United States but its market capitalization had deteriorated through the second half of 2007. On Friday, March 14, 2008 Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. lost 47% of its market value to close at $30.00 per share as rumors emerged that clients were withdrawing capital from the bank. Over the following weekend it emerged that Bear Stearns might prove insolvent and on or around March 15, 2008 the Federal Reserve engineered a deal to prevent a wider systemic crisis from the collapse of Bear Stearns.

On March 16, 2008, JPMorgan Chase announced that it had plans to acquire Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. in a stock swap worth $2.00 per share or $240 million pending mutual shareholder approval scheduled within 90 days. Until then, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to guarantee all Bear Stearns trades and business process flows.[9] Two days later, on March 18, 2008, JPMorgan Chase announced the acquisition of Bear Stearns for $236 million. The stock swap agreement was completed in the late night hours of March 18, 2008, with JPMorgan exchanging 0.05473 of each of its shares for one Bear share, which were valued at $2 each. [10]

On March 24, 2008, a revised offer was announced at approximately $10 per share. Under the revised terms, JPMorgan immediately acquired a 39.5% stake in Bear Stearns (using newly issued shares) at the new offer price and gained a commitment from the board (representing another 10% of the share capital) that its members would vote in favour of the new deal. The merger was completed by June 2, 2008 and Bear Stearns is currently part of JPMorgan Chase.

[edit] Washington Mutual
Main article: Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual logo

On September 25, 2008; JPMorgan Chase bought most of the banking operations of Washington Mutual from the receivership of the FDIC. That night, the Office of Thrift Supervision had seized Washington Mutual Bank and placed it into receivership in by far the largest bank failure in American history. The FDIC sold the bank's assets, secured debt obligations and deposits to JPMorgan Chase & Co for $1.836 billion, which re-opened the bank the following day. As a result of the takeover, Washington Mutual shareholders lost all their equity.[11]

JPMorgan Chase raised $10 billion in a stock sale to cover writedowns and losses after taking on deposits and branches of Washington Mutual.[12] Through the acquisition, JPMorgan Chase now owns the former accounts of Providian Financial, a credit card issuer WaMu acquired in 2005. The company announced plans to complete the rebranding of Washington Mutual branches to Chase by late 2009.

[edit] Collegiate Funding Services

In 2006, JPMorgan Chase purchased Collegiate Funding Services, a portfolio company of private equity firm Lightyear Capital, for $663 million. CFS was used as the foundation for the Chase Student Loans, previously known as Chase Education Finance.[13]

[edit] Other recent acquisitions

On April 7, 2006, JPMorgan Chase announced it would be swapping its corporate trust unit for The Bank of New York Co.'s retail and small business banking network. The swap valued The Bank of New York business at $3.1 billion and JPMorgan's trust unit at $2.8 billion and gives Chase access to 338 additional branches and 700,000 new customers in the New York, New Jersey, and Indiana operations

On March 26, 2008, JPMorgan acquired the UK-based carbon offsetting company ClimateCare. [14]

[edit] Acquisition History

The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors (this is not a comprehensive list):


Zoompad said...

Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician, who served as Prime Minister from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. On the day he stood down as Prime Minister and MP, he was appointed official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Tony Blair was elected Leader of the Labour Party in the leadership election of July 1994 following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith.

Under his leadership the party adopted the term "New Labour",[1] abandoned policies it had held for decades and moved towards the centre ground.[2][3] After the party had been 18 years in opposition, Blair led Labour to landslide victory in the 1997 general election. In the first years of the New Labour government, Blair introduced the minimum wage, signed the Good Friday agreement, established the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Blair's political persona has been described as one of charisma and charm,[4][5] and he is one of Britain's most internationally recognized statesmen.[6][7][8] However, numerous controversies have overshadowed this charisma,[9] particularly during the last years of his administration. Blair was the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister and the only leader to have taken the party to three consecutive general election victories, two of them landslides.

Immediately following the September 11 attacks, Blair vowed to stand "shoulder to shoulder"[10] with America. He aligned Britain as the most important US ally in the war on terror and the Iraq war, both politically and militarily, despite significant public opposition.[11][12]

Despite winning a historic third term, pressure built up within the Labour party for Blair to resign[13][14][15][16] due to its reduced majority after the 2005 general election,[17] increasing popular opposition to the Iraq war, frequent back-bench rebellions,[18] the Cash for Honours scandal, a case of fraud involving a multi-billion pound arms deal with Saudi Arabia,[19] and low approval ratings. Blair stood down as prime minister on 27 June 2007, and was replaced by Gordon Brown. He has been teaching a course at Yale University regarding faith and globalization for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Background and family life

Blair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland[21] on 6 May 1953,[22] the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair (née Corscadden). Leo Blair, the illegitimate[23] son of two English actors, had been adopted as a baby by a Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife Mary. Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who had moved to Glasgow in 1916 but returned to (and later died in) Ballyshannon in 1923, where his wife Sarah Margaret née Lipsett gave birth to Blair's mother Hazel above her family's grocery shop.[24][25] The Lipsett family in Donegal supposedly originated with a German Jewish immigrant to Ireland prior to the 18th century.[26] George Corscadden was from a family of Protestant farmers in County Donegal, Ireland,[27] who descended from Scottish settlers that took their family name from Garscadden, now part of Glasgow.

Life as a child

Tony Blair has one elder brother, Sir William Blair, a High Court Judge, and a younger sister, Sarah. Blair spent the first 19 months of his life at the family home in Paisley Terrace in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh. During this period his father worked as a junior tax inspector whilst also studying for a law degree from the University of Edinburgh.[21] His family spent three and a half years in the 1950s living in Adelaide, Australia, where his father was a lecturer in law at the University of Adelaide.[28] The Blairs lived close to the university, in the suburb of Dulwich. The family returned to Britain in the late 1950s, living for a time with Hazel Blair's stepfather William McClay and her mother at their home in Stepps, near Glasgow. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Durham, England, where his father lectured at Durham University.


After attending Durham's Chorister School from 1961 to 1966,[29] Blair boarded at Fettes College, an independent school in Edinburgh, where he met Charlie Falconer (a pupil at the rival Edinburgh Academy), whom he later appointed Lord Chancellor. He reportedly modelled himself on Mick Jagger.[30] 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".[31] Blair was arrested at Fettes, having being mistaken for a burglar as he climbed into his dormitory using a ladder, after being out late.[32]
Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Booth QC

After Fettes, Blair spent a year in London, where he attempted to find fame as a rock music promoter, before going up to the University of Oxford to read jurisprudence at St John's College. As a student, he played guitar and sang for a rock band called Ugly Rumours. During this time, he dated future American Psycho director Mary Harron.[33] He became influenced by fellow student and Anglican priest Peter Thomson, who awakened within Blair a deep concern for religious faith and left wing politics. Whilst at Oxford, Hazel Blair died of cancer, and greatly affected him. After graduating from Oxford in 1976 with a Second Class Honours BA in Jurisprudence, Blair became a member of Lincoln's Inn, enrolled as a pupil barrister and met his future wife, Cherie Booth (daughter of the actor Tony Booth) at the Chambers founded by Derry Irvine (who was to be Blair's first Lord Chancellor), 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers. Rentoul records that, according to his lawyer friends, Blair was much less concerned about which party he was affiliated with than about his ambition of becoming Prime Minister.

Marriage and children

Blair married Booth, a practising Roman Catholic and future Queen's Counsel, on 29 March 1980. They have four children: Euan Anthony, Nicholas John, Kathryn Hazel, and Leo George. Leo was the first legitimate child born to a serving Prime Minister in over 150 years, since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell on 11 July 1849. Although the Blairs stated that they had wished to shield their children from the media, their children's education was a cause of political controversy. All three attended the Roman Catholic London Oratory School, criticised by left-wingers for its selection procedures, instead of a poorly performing Roman Catholic school in Labour-controlled Islington, where they then lived, in Richmond Avenue. There was further criticism when it was revealed that Euan received private coaching from staff from Westminster School.[citation needed]

Early political career

Blair joined the Labour Party shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975. During the early 1980s, he was involved in Labour politics in Hackney South and Shoreditch, where he aligned himself with the "soft left" of the party. He unsuccessfully attempted to secure selection as a candidate for Hackney Borough Council. Through his father-in-law, Tony Booth, he contacted Labour MP Tom Pendry to ask for help in pursuing a Parliamentary career. Pendry gave him a tour of the House of Commons and advised him to stand for selection as a candidate in a forthcoming by-election in the safe Conservative seat of Beaconsfield, where Pendry knew a senior member of the local party. Blair was chosen as the candidate; at the Beaconsfield by-election he won only 10% of the vote and lost his deposit, but he impressed Labour Party leader Michael Foot and acquired a profile within the party. In contrast to his later centrism, Blair described himself in this period as a Socialist. A letter that he wrote to Foot in July 1982, eventually published in June 2006, gives an indication of his outlook at this time.[34]

In 1983 Blair found that the newly created constituency of Sedgefield, a notionally safe Labour seat near where he had grown up in Durham. The branch had not made a nomination, and Blair visited them. Several sitting MPs displaced by boundary changes were interested in securing selection to fight the seat. With the crucial support of John Burton, Blair won their endorsement; at the last minute he was added to the shortlist and won the selection over Les Huckfield. Burton later became Blair 's agent and one of his most trusted and longest-standing allies.

Blair's election literature in the 1983 UK general election endorsed left-wing policies that Labour advocated in the early 1980s. He called for Britain to leave the EEC, though he had told his selection conference that he personally favoured continuing membership. He also supported unilateral nuclear disarmament as a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Blair was helped on the campaign trail by soap actress Pat Phoenix, his father-in-law's girlfriend. Blair was elected as MP for Sedgefield, despite the party's landslide defeat in the general election.

Blair stated in his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 6 July 1983: "I am a socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for cooperation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality".[35][36] The Labour Party is declared in its constitution to be a democratic socialist party,[37] rather than a social democratic party—Blair himself organised this declaration of Labour to be a socialist party when he dealt with the change to the party's Clause IV in their constitution.

In opposition

Once elected, Blair's ascent was rapid and he received his first front bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesman. In May 1985 he appeared on BBC's Question Time arguing that the Conservative Government's Public Order White Paper was a threat to civil liberties.[38] Blair demanded an inquiry into the Bank of England's decision to rescue the collapsed Johnson Matthey Bank in October 1985, and embarrassed the government by finding a European Economic Community report critical of British economic policy that had been countersigned by a member of the Conservative government. By this time Blair was aligned with the reforming tendencies in the party, headed by leader Neil Kinnock, and was promoted after the 1987 election to the shadow Trade and Industry team as spokesman on the City of London. In 1987, he stood for election to the Shadow Cabinet receiving 77 votes.[citation needed]

After the stock market crash of October 1987, Blair raised his profile further when he castigated City traders as "incompetent" and "morally dubious", and criticised poor service for small investors at the London Stock Exchange.[citation needed] In 1988 Blair entered the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and the following year he became Shadow Employment Secretary. In this post he realised that the Labour Party's support for the emerging European "Social Charter" policies on employment law meant dropping the party's traditional support for the "closed shop" (i.e. compulsory membership of trade unions). He announced this change in December 1989, outraging the left wing of the Labour Party.[citation needed] The young and telegenic Blair was given prominence by the party's Director of Communications, Peter Mandelson. He gave his first major platform speech at the 1990 Labour Party conference. Later, Blair would also work to modernise Labour's image, and was responsible for developing the controversial minimum wage policy.

When Neil Kinnock resigned as party leader after Labour's fourth successive election defeat, Blair became Shadow Home Secretary under John Smith. The Labour Party at this time was widely perceived[weasel words] as weak on crime and Blair worked to change this, accepting that the prison population might have to rise, and bemoaning the loss of a sense of community, which he was prepared to blame (at least partly) on "1960s liberalism".[citation needed] On the other hand, he spoke in support of equalising the age of consent for gay sex at 16, and opposed capital punishment. He defined his policy, in a phrase coined by Gordon Brown, as "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

John Smith died suddenly in 1994 of a heart attack. Blair beat John Prescott and Margaret Beckett in the subsequent leadership election, and became Leader of the Opposition. As is customary for the holder of that office, Blair was appointed a Privy Councillor.

Leader of the Labour Party

Blair announced at the end of his speech at the 1994 Labour Party conference that he intended to replace Clause IV of the party's constitution with a new statement of aims and values. This involved the deletion of the party's stated commitment to "the common ownership of the means of production and exchange", which was widely interpreted as referring to wholesale nationalisation.[39] The clause was replaced by a statement that the party is one of democratic socialism at a special conference in April 1995.[39]

Blair also revised party policy in a manner that enhanced the image of Labour as competent and modern using the term "New Labour" to distinguish the party from its past. Although the transformation aroused much criticism (its alleged superficiality drawing fire both from political opponents and traditionalists within the "rank and file" of his own party), it was nevertheless successful in changing public perception.[citation needed] At the 1996 Labour Party conference, Blair stated that his three top priorities on coming to office were "education, education and education". Aided by the unpopularity of John Major's Conservative government (itself deeply divided over the European Union), "New Labour" won a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, ending 18 years of Conservative Party government with the heaviest Conservative defeat since 1832.[40]

Prime Minister
Main article: Premiership of Tony Blair

Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 2 May 1997, serving concurrently as First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Privy Counsellor. The 43-year old Blair became the youngest person to become Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, at the age of 42.[41] With victories in 1997, 2001, and 2005, Blair was the Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, the only person to lead the party to three consecutive general election victories.
Blair addressing a crowd in Armagh in 1998

Blair is both credited with, and criticised for, moving the Labour Party towards the centre of British politics, using the term "New Labour" to distinguish his pro-market policies from the more collectivist policies which the party had espoused in the past.

In domestic government policy, Blair significantly increased public spending on health and education while also introducing controversial market-based reforms in these areas. Blair's tenure also saw the introduction of a National Minimum Wage, tuition fees for higher education, and constitutional reform such as devolution in Scotland and Wales. The British economy performed well, and Blair kept to Conservative commitments not to increase income tax, although he did introduce a large number of subtle tax increases referred to as stealth taxes by his opponents.

His contribution towards assisting the Northern Ireland Peace Process by helping to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement after 30 years of conflict was widely recognised.[42][43] Following the Omagh Bombing on 15 August 1998 by dissidents opposed to the peace process which killed 29 people and wounded hundreds, Blair visited the County Tyrone town, and met with victims at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.[44] From the start of the War on Terror in 2001, Blair strongly supported United States foreign policy, notably by participating in the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. He encountered fierce criticism as a result, over the policy itself and the circumstances in which it was decided upon, especially his claims that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction (which have not been discovered in Iraq). Some have accused Blair of war crimes as a result.[45][46][47] For his unwavering support of the United States government's foreign policy, Mr. Blair was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal on 18 July 2003.

Following pressure from the Labour Party, on 7 September 2006 Blair publicly stated he would step down as party leader by the time of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference which was held from 10 September 2007 – 13 September 2007,[48] having promised to serve a full term during the previous general election campaign.

Relationship with Parliament

Blair changed Parliamentary procedures significantly. One of his first acts as Prime Minister was to replace the then twice-weekly 15 minute sessions of Prime Minister's Questions, held on a Tuesday and Thursday, with a single 30 minute session on a Wednesday. This reform was said to have led to greater efficiency, but critics have noted that it is easier to prepare for one long set of questions than for two shorter sessions. In addition to PMQs, Blair held monthly press conferences, at which he fielded questions from journalists.[49][50]

Other procedural reforms included changing the official times for Parliamentary sessions in order to have Parliament operate in a more business-like manner.

Events prior to resignation

As Casualties of the Iraq War continued to increase and criticism of the Iraq war and its handling mounted, Blair was accused of misleading parliament,[51][52][53] and his popularity dropped dramatically.[54][55][56] The Labour party's overall majority in the 2005 general election was reduced to 66.

As a combined result of the so-called Blair-Brown pact, the Iraq war, and low approval ratings, pressure built up within[57] the Labour party for Blair to resign.[58][59][60]

On 10 May 2007, Blair announced during a speech at the Trimdon Labour Club in his Sedgefield constituency his intention to resign as both Labour Party leader and Prime Minister the following June. At a special party conference in Manchester on 24 June 2007, he formally handed over the leadership of the Labour Party to Gordon Brown, who had been Chancellor of the Exchequer during all of Blair's ten years in office.[61]

Blair tendered his resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the Queen on 27 June 2007, his successor Gordon Brown assuming office the same afternoon. He also resigned his seat in the House of Commons in the traditional form of accepting the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds to which he was appointed by Gordon Brown in one of the latter's last acts as Chancellor of the Exchequer:[62][63] As it is impossible to resign from the UK Parliament, this device is used for MPs wishing to step down.[64]

The resulting Sedgefield by-election was won by Labour's candidate, Phil Wilson. Blair decided not to issue a list of Resignation Honours, making him the first Prime Minister of the modern era not to do so.[65]

Post-Prime Ministerial career

Tony Blair in 2009

On 27 June 2007, he officially resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after ten years in office, and Blair was officially confirmed as Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia.[66] Blair originally indicated that he would retain his parliamentary seat after his resignation as Prime Minister came into effect; however, he resigned from the Commons on being confirmed for the Middle East role, by taking up an office for profit .[62] President George W. Bush had preliminary talks with Blair to ask him to take up the envoy role. White House sources stated that "both Israel and the Palestinians had signed up to the proposal".[67][68] In May 2008 Tony Blair announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas of the Peace Valley plan. [69]

During the first nine days of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Tony Blair spent Christmas and New Year with his family, and attended an opening of the Armani store at Knightsbridge.[70]

Private sector

In January 2008 it was confirmed that Blair would be joining investment bank JPMorgan Chase "in a senior advisory capacity"[71] and that he would advise Zurich Financial Services on climate change. His combined earnings then reached over £7m a year.[72]

Blair also gives lectures and earns up to US$250,000 for a 90-minutes speech[73][74]. Yale University announced on 7 March 2008 that Blair will teach a course on issues of faith and globalization at the Yale Schools of Management and Divinity as a Howland distinguished fellow during the 2008–2009 academic year.[75]


Media has speculated that Blair is planning to become the first President of the European Council, a post created in the Treaty of Lisbon that would come into force in 2009, if successfully ratified.

Blair has been the most common name connected with the post. Touted as far back as 2002, rumours re-emerged since his resignation.[76] In June 2007 French president Nicolas Sarkozy was the first leader to propose that Blair be the first president,[77] support which was reiterated in October 2007 following an agreement on the Treaty of Lisbon.

Gordon Brown, Blair's successor, added his support but noted it was premature to discuss candidates before the treaty was approved. A spokesman for Tony Blair did not rule out Blair accepting the post, saying he was concentrating on his current role in the Middle East. Some believe he is unlikely to take the position as it comes with few powers.[78] Blair was later invited to speak on European issues at a rally of Sarkozy's party, the Union for a Popular Movement, on 12 January 2008 which fuelled speculation further.[79][80]

He is intelligent, he is brave and he is a friend. We need him in Europe. How can we govern a continent of 450 million people if the President changes every six months and has to run his own country at the same time? I want a President chosen from the top — not a compromise candidate — who will serve for two-and-a-half years.
—French President Nicolas Sarkozy, January 2008, [81]


On 14 November 2007, Blair launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which aims to "increase childhood participation in sports activities, especially in the North East of England, where a larger proportion of children are socially excluded, and to promote overall health and prevent childhood obesity."[82] On 30 May 2008, Blair launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as a vehicle for encouraging different faiths to join together in promoting respect and understanding, as well as working to tackle poverty. Reflecting Blair's own faith, but not dedicated to any particular religion, the Foundation aims to "show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world"[83].


In May 2007, before his resignation, it was reported[84] that Blair would be offered a Knighthood in the Order of the Thistle, rather than the Order of the Garter, due to his Scottish connections. No such move has been reported since, and, on St Andrew's Day, the Queen appointed two men to the only openings in the limited Order.
Blair is presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush

On 22 May 2008, Blair received an honorary law doctorate from Queen's University Belfast, alongside former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, for distinction in public service and roles in the Northern Ireland peace process.[85]

On 13 January 2009 Blair was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. The President stated that Blair was given the award "in recognition of exemplary achievement and to convey the utmost esteem of the American people"[86] and cited Blair's support for the War on Terror and his role in achieving peace in Northern Ireland as two reasons to justify his being presented with the award.[87][88]

On 16 February 2009 Blair was awarded the Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University for "exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict." He will be awarded the prize in May 2009.[89][90]

Relationship with media

Rupert Murdoch

Tony Blair's close relationship with Rupert Murdoch, and the reciprocated unprecedented support which he received from Murdoch's globally influential News Corporation media empire, has been the subject of much criticism.[91][92] In 1995 while leader of the Opposition, Blair disclosed in Commons register of interests that he was a guest of Murdoch when he flew to meet him in Hayman Island.[93]

Contacts with UK media proprietors

A Cabinet Office freedom of information response, released the day after Blair handed over power to Gordon Brown, documents Blair having various official phone calls and meetings with Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation and Richard Desmond of Northern and Shell Media.[94]

The response includes contacts "clearly of an official nature" in the specified period, but excludes contacts "not clearly of an official nature."[95] No details were given of what subjects discussed. In the period between September 2002 and April 2005, Blair and Murdoch are documented speaking 6 times; three times in the 9 days before the Iraq war, including the eve of the 20 March US and UK invasion, and on 29 January, 25 April and 3 October 2004. Between January 2003 and February 2004, Mr Blair had three meetings with Richard Desmond; on 29 January and 3 September 2003 and 23 February 2004.[96][97]

The information was disclosed after a three and a half year battle by the Lib Dem Lord Avebury.[94] Lord Avebury's initial October 2003 information request was dismissed by then leader of the Lords, Baroness Amos.[94] A following complaint was rejected, with Downing Street claiming the information compromised free and frank discussions, while Cabinet Office claimed releasing the timing of the PM's contacts with individuals is undesirable, as it might lead to the content of the discussions being disclosed.[94] While awaiting a following appeal from Lord Avebury, the cabinet office announced that it would release the information. Lord Avebury said: "The public can now scrutinise the timing of his (Murdoch's) contacts with the former Prime Minister, to see whether they can be linked to events in the outside world."[94]

Media portrayal

Tony Blair is acknowledged by most to be a highly skilful media performer who comes over as charismatic, informal and articulate. A few months after becoming Prime Minister he gave a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales on the morning of her death in August 1997, in which he famously described her as "the People's Princess".

After taking office in 1997, Blair gave particular prominence to his press secretary, who became known as the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (the two roles have since been separated). Blair's first PMOS was Alastair Campbell, who served in that role from May 1997 to 8 June 2001, after which he served as the Prime Minister's Director of Communications and Strategy until his resignation on 29 August 2003 in the aftermath of the Hutton Inquiry. Campbell acquired a reputation as a sinister and Machiavellian figure, and both Blair and Campbell have frequently been criticised or satirised for their allegedly excessive use of "spin" and news management techniques (see below under Criticism).

Relationship with Gordon Brown
See also: Blair-Brown deal

After the death of John Smith in 1994, both Blair and Gordon Brown were viewed as possible candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party. They had agreed that they would not stand against each other. Brown had previously been considered to be the more senior of the two and he understood this to mean that Blair would give way to him. It soon became apparent, however, that Blair had greater public support.[98] This gave rise to the alleged Blair-Brown deal. At certain times, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has reportedly acted as their "marriage guidance counsellor".[99]

Religious faith

On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Blair had converted to the Roman Catholic faith, and that it was "a private matter".[100][101] He had informed Pope Benedict XVI on 23 June 2007 that he wanted to become Roman Catholic. The Pope and his advisors criticised some of Blair's political actions, but followed up with a reportedly unprecedented red-carpet welcome that included Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, who would be responsible for Blair's Catholic instruction.[102][103][104][105][106]

Blair had previously rarely discussed his religious faith in public, but had often been identified as an Anglo-Catholic—that is, a member of the high church branch of the Church of England, sympathetic to the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. His wife Cherie Booth is a practising Roman Catholic, and Blair had attended Catholic Masses at Westminster Cathedral, with his family at Number 10 Downing Street, and also while on holiday in Italy. During one such visit to that country, on 22 February 2003, when he met with Pope John Paul II, Blair and his wife stayed at the Irish College in Rome[107]. In 1996, he was reprimanded by Basil Cardinal Hume for receiving Holy Communion at Mass despite not being a Roman Catholic, a contravention of Catholic Canon Law.[108]

In an interview with Michael Parkinson broadcast on ITV1 on 4 March 2006, Blair referred to the role of his Christian faith in his decision to go to war in Iraq, stating that he had prayed about the issue, and saying that God would judge him for his decision:[109] "I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people … and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well."

A longer exploration of his faith can be found in an interview with Third Way Magazine. He says there that "I was brought up as [a Christian], but I was not in any real sense a practising one until I went to Oxford. There was an Australian priest at the same college as me who got me interested again. In a sense, it was a rediscovery of religion as something living, that was about the world around me rather than some sort of special one-to-one relationship with a remote Being on high. Suddenly I began to see its social relevance. I began to make sense of the world".[110] The death of Blair's mother Hazel in 1975 is said to have greatly affected him and prompted his renewed spiritual commitment whilst at Oxford.

These comments prompted a number of questions on Blair's faith. At one point Alastair Campbell, Blair's director of strategy and communications, intervened in an interview, preventing the Prime Minister from answering a question about his Christianity, explaining, "We don't do God".[111]

Cherie Blair's friend and "spiritual guru" Carole Caplin is credited with introducing her and her husband to various New Age symbols and beliefs, including "magic pendants" known as "BioElectric Shields".[112] The most controversial of the Blairs' New Age practices occurred when on holiday in Mexico. The couple, wearing only bathing costumes, took part in a rebirthing procedure that involved smearing mud and fruit over each others' bodies while sitting in a steam bath.[113]

Political overview

The Labour Party is historically a socialist political party. In 2001, Tony Blair said, "We are a left of centre party, pursuing economic prosperity and social justice as partners and not as opposites".[114] Blair has rarely applied such labels to himself, but he promised before the 1997 election that New Labour would govern "from the radical centre", and according to one lifelong Labour Party member, has always described himself as a social democrat.[115] However, Labour Party backbenchers and other left wing critics typically place Blair to the right of centre.[116] A YouGov opinion poll in 2005 also found that a small majority of British voters, including many New Labour supporters, place Blair on the right of the political spectrum.[117][118] The Financial Times on the other hand has argued that Blair is not conservative, but instead a populist.[119] Curiously though, and perhaps contradictorily, in the new Clause 4 of the Labour Party's constitution written by Blair personally, the party is defined a "Democratic Socialist" party.

Critics and admirers tend to agree that Blair's electoral success was based on his ability to occupy the centre ground and appeal to voters across the political spectrum, to the extent that he has been fundamentally at odds with traditional Labour Party values.[120] Some left wing critics have argued that Blair has overseen the final stage of a long term shift of the Labour Party to the right, and that very little now remains of a Labour Left.[121][122] There is also evidence that Blair's long term dominance of the centre has forced his Conservative opponents to shift a long distance to the left, in order to challenge his hegemony there.[123][124]

Blair has raised taxes (but did not increase income tax for high-earners); introduced a minimum wage and some new employment rights (while keeping Margaret Thatcher's trade union legislation); introduced significant constitutional reforms; promoted new rights for gay people in the Civil Partnership Act 2004; and signed treaties integrating Britain more closely with the EU. He introduced substantial market-based reforms in the education and health sectors; introduced student tuition fees; sought to reduce certain categories of welfare payments, and introduced tough anti-terrorism and identity card legislation.[125]

Environmental record

Tony Blair has criticised other governments for not doing enough to solve global climate change. In 1997 Tony Blair in a visit to the United States made a comment on "great industrialised nations" that fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Again in 2003 Mr. Blair went before the United States Congress and said that climate change "cannot be ignored", insisting "we need to go beyond even Kyoto." [126] His record at home tends to say something different. Tony Blair and his party have promised a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide but during his term the emissions rose. The Labour Party also claimed that by 2010 10% of the energy would come from renewable resources but in fact only 3% currently does. [127]

In 2000 Mr. Blair "flagged up" 100 million Euros for green policies in an effort to get greens and businesses to work together. [128]

This article's Criticism or Controversy section(s) may mean the article does not present a neutral point of view of the subject. It may be better to integrate the material in such sections into the article as a whole.
Main article: Criticism of Tony Blair

Tony Blair has been criticised for his alliance with U.S. President George W. Bush and his policies in the Middle East, including the Iraq War, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[129] Blair is also criticised for an alleged tendency to spin important information in a way that can be misleading.[130] Blair is the first ever Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to have been formally questioned by police officers while in office, although he was not under caution when interviewed.[131]

Critics also regard Tony Blair as having eroded civil liberties and increased social authoritarianism, by increasing police powers, in the form of more arrestable offences, DNA recording, and the issuing of dispersal orders.[132]


Blair was sometimes perceived as paying insufficient attention both to the views of his own Cabinet colleagues and to those of the House of Commons.[133] His style was sometimes criticised as not that of a prime minister and head of government, which he was, but of a president and head of state, which he was not.[134]

Relationship with the United States
Tony Blair and George W. Bush shake hands after their press conference in the East Room of the White House on 12 November 2004.

Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton during the latter's time in office, Blair formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush, particularly in the area of foreign policy. At one point, Nelson Mandela described Blair as "the U.S. foreign minister".[135] Blair has also often openly been referred to as "Bush's poodle".[136] Kendall Myers, a senior analyst at the State Department, reportedly said that he felt "a little ashamed" of Bush's treatment of the Prime Minister and that his attempts to influence U.S. government policy were typically ignored: "It was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes... There was nothing, no payback, no sense of reciprocity".[137]

For his part, Bush lauded Blair and the UK. In his post-11 September speech, for example, he stated that "America has no truer friend than Great Britain".[138]

The alliance between Bush and Blair seriously damaged Blair's standing in the eyes of many UK citizens.[139] Blair argued it is in Britain's interest to "protect and strengthen the bond" with the United States regardless of who is in the White House.[140] However, a perception of one-sided compromising personal and political closeness led to serious discussion of the term "Poodle-ism" in the UK media, to describe the "special relationship" of the UK government and Prime Minister with the US White House and President. [141] A revealing conversation between Bush and Blair, with the former addressing the latter as "Yo, Blair" was recorded when they did not know a mike was live at the G8 conference in Russia in 2006.[142]

Middle East policy and links with Israel

Before New Labour, 'the pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist hard left was a force in the party',[143] and the 'the pro-Arab' Labour Middle East Council and the Trade Union Friends of Palestine had a large Labour following.[144] Blair, however, 'had a deep feeling for Israel, born in part from his faith,'[145] and one of his first actions as an MP was to join the parliamentary Labour Friends of Israel, an organisation for which 'many senior Labour figures' had worked 'at some part of their career',[146] including 'almost all prime ministers'.[147]

In 1994, a friend and former colleague of Blair at 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers, Eldred Tabachnik, Q.C. (one time president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews) introduced Blair to Michael Levy, later Lord Levy, a pop music mogul and major fundraiser for Jewish and Israeli causes, at a dinner party hosted by the Israeli diplomat Gideon Meir.[148] Blair and Levy soon became close friends and tennis partners. Levy ran the Labour Leader's Office Fund to finance Blair's campaign before the 1997 General Election and received substantial contributions from such figures as Alex Bernstein and Robert Gavron, both of whom were ennobled by Blair after he came to power. 'In 1997, for the first election campaign in years, Jewish organisations and individuals donated more to Labour than to the Tories.'[149] Levy was created a life peer by Blair in 1997, and in 2002, just prior to the Iraq War, Blair appointed Levy as his personal envoy to the Middle East. Levy, described as 'a leading international Zionist',[150] praised Blair for his 'solid and committed support of the State of Israel'.[151]

Blair, on coming to office, had been 'cool towards the right-wing Netanyahu government'.[152] But with the election in 1999 of an Israeli Labour prime minister Ehud Barak, with whom Blair 'forged a close relationship', he became 'much more sympathetic to Israel, guided in part by Manning's enthusiasm for generating momentum in the peace process'.[153] From 2001 Blair also 'worked hard at building a relationship, with some success',[154] with Barak's successor, Ariel Sharon. He also 'responded positively to Arafat, whom he had met thirteen times since becoming prime minister', 'regarding him as essential to future negotiations'.[155] 'By April 2002, Blair believed he was making progress. Bush's statement of 4 April, in which he urged Sharon to withdraw from Palestinian cities recently occupied and halt further incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas, proved the highpoint of Bush's toughness with the Israeli Prime Minister.'[156] 'By the beginning of 2003, Blair redoubled his efforts to shift Bush on the Middle East policy process', which 'finally paid off when, on 14 March, Bush announced that the road map would be published as soon as Abu Mazen, the new Palestinian Prime Minister, was installed. Palestinian independence by 2005, to which Bush secured Sharon's agreement, was the goal.'[157] According to Anthony Seldon: 'None of these proposals would have been finalised, least of all so quickly, without Blair's pressing.'[158]

Blair was heavily criticised in 2004 by 50 former diplomats, including ambassadors to Baghdad and Tel Aviv, for his policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iraq War. They stated they had 'watched with deepening concern' at Britain following the U.S. into war in Iraq in 2003 also stating, 'We feel the time has come to make our anxieties public, in the hope that they will be addressed in parliament and will lead to a fundamental reassessment,' and asked Blair to exert 'real influence as a loyal ally'. The ambassadors also accused the allies of having 'no effective plan' for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq and the apparent disregard for the lives of Iraqi civilians. The diplomats also criticised Blair for his support for the road map which included the retaining of settlements on the West Bank stating, 'Our dismay at this backward step is heightened by the fact that you yourself seem to have endorsed it, abandoning the principles which for nearly four decades have guided international efforts to restore peace in the Holy Land'.[159]

In 2006 Blair was criticised again, this time for his failure to call for a ceasefire in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, with members of his cabinet openly criticising Israel. Jack Straw, the Leader of the House of Commons and former Foreign Secretary stated that Israel's actions risked destabilising all of Lebanon. Kim Howells, a minister in the Foreign Office, stated that it was 'very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics used by Israel'; 'These are not surgical strikes but have instead caused death and misery amongst innocent civilians.'. The Observer newspaper claimed that at a cabinet meeting before Blair left for a summit with Bush on 28 July 2006, a significant number of ministers pressured Blair to publicly criticise Israel over the scale of deaths and destruction in Lebanon.[160]

On 1 August 2008, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad issued a statement calling Blair a war criminal for his role in initiating the war in Iraq. Mahathir said, 'I am disgusted that Tony Blair has been invited to Malaysia. This man, to me, is a war criminal. Through instigating the war in Iraq, he has killed more than (former Bosnian Serb leader) Radovan Karadzic and (former Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein.'[161]

Relationship with Labour Party

Blair's apparent refusal to set a date for his departure was criticised by the British press and Members of Parliament. It has been reported that a number of cabinet ministers believed that Blair's timely departure from office would be required to be able to win a fourth election.[162] Some ministers viewed Blair's announcement of policy initiatives in September 2006 as an attempt to draw attention away from these issues.[162] Upon his return from his holiday in the West Indies he announced that all the speculation about his leaving must stop. This stirred not only his traditional critics but also traditional party loyalists.

While the Blair government has introduced social policies supported by the left of the Labour Party, such as the minimum wage and measures to reduce child poverty, Blair is seen on economic and management issues as being to the right of much of the party. A possible comparison may be made with American Democrats such as Joe Lieberman, who have been accused by their party's "base" of adopting their opponents' political stances. Some critics describe Blair as a reconstructed neoconservative or Thatcherite. He is occasionally described as "Son of Thatcher", though Lady Thatcher herself rejected this identification in an interview with ITV1 on the night of the 2005 election, saying that in her opinion the resemblances were superficial. Blair himself has often expressed admiration for Thatcher.[163]

Blair forged alliances with several conservative European leaders, including Silvio Berlusconi of Italy,[164] Angela Merkel of Germany[165] and more recently Nicolas Sarkozy of France.[166] This earned him criticism from trade union leaders within the Labour Party, most notably over the political alliance with Berlusconi who was engaged in disputes with Italian trade unions.

Approval rating

In May 2006, The Daily Telegraph reported that Blair's personal approval rating had dipped to 26%, lower than Harold Wilson's rating after devaluation of the pound and James Callaghan's during the Winter of Discontent, meaning that Blair had become the most unpopular post-war Labour Prime Minister. Of all post-war British Prime Ministers of both parties, only Margaret Thatcher and John Major have recorded lower approval (the former in the aftermath of the Poll Tax Riots).[167] Previously Blair had achieved the highest approval ratings of any British Prime Minister or party leader of either party in the months following his election in 1997.[168] Two months later, in July 2006, Blair's approval rating hit a further low of 23%, the lowest rating he ever received. Blair is not however the most unpopular post-war Labour Party leader, with Michael Foot recording 13% approval in August 1982, although Foot was merely Leader of the Opposition at the time, rather than Prime Minister. No Labour leader other than Foot, whether in office or opposition, has recorded lower approval than Blair. Blair's approval rating during the final month of his premiership was 35%. Hence, he left office having experienced the extremes of being both the most popular and least popular Labour Prime Minister since the Second World War.[169]

Portrayals and cameo appearances


Blair made an animated cameo appearance as himself in The Simpsons episode, "The Regina Monologues" (2003).[170] He has also appeared himself at the end of the first episode of The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, a British TV series about an unknown housewife becoming Prime Minister. On 14 March 2007, Blair appeared as a celebrity judge on Masterchef goes Large after contestants had to prepare a three course meal in the Downing Street kitchens for Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern[171]. On 16 March 2007, in a comedy sketch with Catherine Tate, who appeared in the guise of her character Lauren Cooper from The Catherine Tate Show. The sketch was made for the BBC Red Nose Day fundraising programme of 2007. During the sketch, Blair used Lauren's most famous catchphrase "Am I bovvered?".[172]


Michael Sheen has portrayed Blair twice in the films The Deal (2003) and The Queen (2006). Blair was portrayed by Robert Lindsay in the TV programme A Very Social Secretary; he reprised the role in The Trial of Tony Blair. He was also portrayed by James Larkin in The Government Inspector (2005), and by Ioan Gruffudd in W. (2008).

Blair in fiction and satire

'The Ghost'

When In 2007 Blair finally resigned as Prime Minister, Robert Harris, a former Fleet Street political editor, dropped his other work to write The Ghost. The title refers both to a professional ghost-writer, whose lengthy memorandum forms the novel, and to his immediate predecessor who, as the action opens, has just drowned in gruesome and mysterious circumstances.

The dead man has been ghosting the autobiography of a recently unseated British prime minister. The latter is one Adam Lang, a thinly disguised version of Blair. [173] The fictional counterpart of Cherie Blair is depicted as a sinister manipulator of her husband. So astonishing are the implied allegations of the roman à clef that, had it concerned a lesser figure and were Harris a less eminent novelist, Britain's libel laws may have rendered publication impossible. Harris told The Guardian before publication: "The day this appears a writ might come through the door. But I would doubt it, knowing him." [174] The thriller acquires an added frisson from the fact that Harris was an early and enthusiastic backer of Blair and a donor to New Labour funds. [175]

Harris has hinted at a third, less obvious, allusion hidden in the novel's title - and at a possible motive for his having written the book in the first place. Blair, said Harris, had himself been ghostwriter, in effect, to President Bush: when giving public reasons for invading Iraq he had argued the case better than had the President himself. [176] The cover of the US edition depicts a ghostly arm looming behind the President.

The New York Observer, headlining its otherwise hostile review The Blair Snitch Project, commented that the book's "shock-horror revelation" was "so shocking it simply can’t be true, though if it were it would certainly explain pretty much everything about the recent history of Great Britain." [175]

In November 2007 it was announced that Roman Polanski was to direct the film version of the novel, and would be writing the script with Harris. [177] A year later it was announced that Ewan McGregor would play the ghost, with Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams as Adam and Ruth Lang, and Kim Catrall as Lang's assistant Amelia Bly. The movie would be completed by autumn 2009, it was hoped, and released soon after. Harris was quoted as saying, “I want to be sure it’s out before Tony Blair’s own memoirs are published.” [178]

Other representations

In A. N. Wilson's 2004 satirical novel My Name is Legion Blair is recognisable as the basis for the Bible-reading Prime Minister who receives inspiration directly from God.

The climax of Alistair Beaton's satirical play on political spin, 'Feelgood' (2001), is a Blair-like speech given by a Blair lookalike, using typical Blair gestures.

During Blair's time as Prime Minister the satirical magazine Private Eye ran a regular feature St. Albion Parish News, whereby parishioners would receive the smarmily petulant pronouncements of the incumbent Rev. A. R. P. Blair MA (Oxon.), including frequent castigation of, amongst others, the parish treasurer, one Mr. Brown.

Blair's appearance in fiction has been discussed in The Guardian. [179]

Titles and honours

Styles from 1983 election

* Anthony Charles Lynton Blair MP (1983–1994)
* The Rt Hon Anthony Charles Lynton Blair MP (1994–2007)
* The Rt Hon Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (2007–)


* Privy Councillor (1994)
* Congressional Gold Medal[180]
* Presidential Medal of Freedom[181]

Political offices
Preceded by
Unknown Shadow Treasury Spokesperson
Date unknown – 1987 Succeeded by
Preceded by
Unknown Shadow Trade Minister
1987 – 1988 Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Prescott Shadow Energy Secretary
1988 – 1989 Succeeded by
Frank Dobson
Preceded by
Michael Meacher Shadow Employment Secretary
1989 – 1992
Preceded by
Roy Hattersley Shadow Home Secretary
1992 – 1994 Succeeded by
Jack Straw
Preceded by
Margaret Beckett Leader of the Opposition
1994 – 1997 Succeeded by
John Major
Preceded by
John Major Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
2 May 1997 – 27 June 2007 Succeeded by
Gordon Brown
Preceded by
Bill Clinton
United States Chair of the G8
1998 Succeeded by
Gerhard Schröder
Preceded by
George W. Bush
United States Chair of the G8
2005 Succeeded by
Vladimir Putin
Preceded by
Jean-Claude Juncker
Luxembourg President of the European Council (EU)
Second-Half 2005 Succeeded by
Wolfgang Schüssel
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
(constituency re-created) Member of Parliament for Sedgefield
9 June 1983 – 27 June 2007 Succeeded by
Phil Wilson
Preceded by
Terry Davis Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds
27 June 2007 – 18 June 2008 Succeeded by
David Davis
Party political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Beckett Leader of Labour Party (UK)
21 July 1994 – 24 June 2007 Succeeded by
Gordon Brown


* Blair, Tony (2002). The Courage of Our Convictions Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0603-4
* Blair, Tony (2000). Superpower: Not Superstate? (Federal Trust European Essays) Federal Trust for Education & Research, ISBN 1-903403-25-1
* Blair, Tony (1998). The Third Way: New Politics for the New Century Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0588-7
* Blair, Tony (1998). Leading the Way: New Vision for Local Government Institute for Public Policy Research, ISBN 1-86030-075-8
* Blair, Tony (1997). New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country Basic Books, ISBN 0-8133-3338-5
* Blair, Tony (1995). Let Us Face the Future Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0571-2
* Blair, Tony (1994). What Price Safe Society? Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0562-3
* Blair, Tony (1994). Socialism Fabian Society, ISBN 0-7163-0565-8

See also

* Tony Blair's Cabinets
* Blairite
* Blair Brown Deal
* 'Cash for Honours' scandal
* Impeach Blair campaign
* Labour Party leadership election, 2007
* Politics of the United Kingdom
* Cultural depictions of Tony Blair


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4. ^ Guardian Poll
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26. ^ Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4.
27. ^ Andrew Rawnsley (8 April 2007). "Peace and war: the reckoning. Part two, The barrister and the preacher". The Observer.,,2049958,00.html. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
28. ^ "Tony's big adventure". The Observer (Guardian Newspapers Ltd.). 27 April 2003.,8224,944191,00.html. Retrieved on 18 November 2006.
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Further reading

* Abse, Leo (2001). Tony Blair: The Man Behind the Smile. Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-364-9.
* Beckett, F. & Hencke, D. (2004). The Blairs and Their Court. Aurum Press. ISBN 1-84513-024-3.
* ——— (2003). Tony Blair: The Man Who Lost His Smile. Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-698-2.
* Blair, Tony (1998). (ed.) Iain Dale. ed. The Blair Necessities: Tony Blair Book of Quotations. Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-139-5.
* ——— (2004). (ed.) Paul Richards. ed. Tony Blair: In His Own Words. Politico's Publishing. ISBN 1-84275-089-5.
* Gould, Philip (1999). The Unfinished Revolution: How the Modernisers Saved the Labour Party. Abacus. ISBN 0-349-11177-4.
* Naughtie, James (2001). The Rivals: The Intimate Story of a Political Marriage. Fourth Estate. ISBN 1-84115-473-3.
* ——— (2004). The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency. Macmillan. ISBN 1-4050-5001-2.
* Rawnsley, Andrew (2000). Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour. Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-14029-3.
* ——— (2001). Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour (2nd edition ed.). Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-027850-8.
* Rentoul, John (2001). Tony Blair: Prime Minister. Little Brown. ISBN 0-316-85496-4.
* Riddell, Peter (2004). The Unfulfilled Prime Minister: Tony Blair and the End of Optimism. Politico's Publishing. ISBN 1-84275-113-1.
* Seldon, Anthony (2004). Blair. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-3211-9.
* Short, Clare (2004). An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-6392-8.
* Stephens, Philip (2004). Tony Blair: The Making of a World Leader. Viking Books. ISBN 0-670-03300-6.


* Blair, T. (2004). "Blair, The Right Hon. A. C. L." from Who's Who, 156th ed., London: A & C Black.
* Halsbury's Laws of England (2004), reference to impeachment in volume on Constitutional Law and Human Rights, paragraph 416
* The Queen (2006 film)

External links
Find more about Tony Blair on Wikipedia's sister projects:
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Learning resources from Wikiversity

* Tony Blair's post-Downing Street official website
* Video of Tony Blair Celebrating 100 years of Scouting
* A Day in the Life an on-line documentary by Tony Blair on life as Prime Minister
* Tony Blair’s Resignation Speech Audio and Transcript of Tony Blair's Resignation Speech at Trimdon Labour Club on 10 May 2007
* Tony Blair A Decade in Power Photo Gallery from
* Tony Blair - Washington Speakers Bureau
* Tony Blair at the Internet Movie Database
* "Tony Blair - Biography" at the Internet Archive
* The Blair Years—Timeline
* Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Tony Blair MP
*—Tony Blair MP
* The Public Whip—Tony Blair MP voting record
* BBC News: Special Report - The Blair years 1997-2007
* Triple A Accessible version of Tony Blair's resignation speech
* Tony Blair Online A website providing news, info, pictures etc on Tony Blair.
* Tony Blair's keynote speech at Policy Network conference 'Britain and Europe in the Global Age', 2007
* Blair reinvented the Middle Ages and called it liberal intervention, Simon Jenkins in The Sunday Times on Blair's legacy
* Hansard - Prime Ministers Question Time, 27 June 2007 – Official transcript of Tony Blair's final appearance in the Commons containing a mix of day to day business, tributes, quips and light hearted put downs.
* "Tony Blair's UN Role May Conflict with New Job with JP Morgan Chase" by Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press, 10 January 2008

evision said...

Zoompad said...

Thanks xx