Tony Blair ‘almost motivated’ to return to frontline politics

Tony Blair waves at supporters upon his arrival at No. 10 Downing Street in 1997.
Tony Blair waves at supporters upon his arrival at No. 10 Downing Street in 1997.
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Tony Blair has expressed his increased desire for a return to frontline politics as Britain is being “hijacked” by Brexit backers.

The former prime minister acknowledged he “agrees with a lot” of what Theresa May says, including on an energy price cap, although warned she is not being reasonable when it comes to Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU).

Mr Blair said he “almost feels motivated to go right back into it”, although sought to focus on how he wants to try and influence the election debate on Brexit.

He argued the issue is “bigger than party allegiance” at the June 8 vote, adding voters should find out where candidates stand on it.

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Mr Blair, who said he will vote Labour, told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “I feel for the first time since I first came into politics, I look at the British political scene at the moment and I actually almost feel motivated to go right back into it.

“I just feel we’re allowing ourselves to be hijacked by what is actually quite a small group of people with a very strong ideology.

“Someone like Theresa May, you look at her and she’s very sensible, very solid, she’s a perfectly decent person, I agree with a lot of what she says - what she says about energy costs today, most people would say ‘fair enough’.

“But on this issue, which is the biggest issue of our time and which will have a dramatic impact on our future, on our economy, on our living standards and on the younger people of this country, on this issue she’s not reasonable.”

Jokingly told Labour may still be in search of candidates for the forthcoming general election, Mr Blair replied: “Well, I tell you what I fancy, I fancy doing whatever I can to at least make this debate in the election into a proper debate.

“She, okay, we can read the polls... I’ve never known polls like this.”

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Asked who would be best-suited to become Prime Minister, Mr Blair replied: “Because I’ve said I’m not going to get into the discussion of the campaign, I’m not even going to get into that discussion.

“I’m basing my statements about the campaign really on that if the polls are right - I’m not saying they should be right, I’m not saying they are right, I’m just saying if they’re right - frankly that is not the dominant question in this campaign.

“The dominant question is what’s the mandate that Theresa May is going to claim on June 9.”