Tony Blair

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Tony Blair
Tony Blair in 2010
Former Prime Minister Blair (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
Preceded byMargaret Beckett
Succeeded byJohn Major
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
21 July 1994 – 24 June 2007
DeputyJohn Prescott
Preceded byJohn Smith
Succeeded byGordon Brown
Member of Parliament
for Sedgefield [en]
In office
9 June 1983 – 27 June 2007
Preceded byConstituency recreated[nb]
Succeeded byPhil Wilson [en]
Personal details
Born
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

(1953-05-06) 6 May 1953 (age 67)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
Cherie Booth (m. 1980)
Children4
ParentsLeo Blair [en] (father)
RelativesWilliam Blair [en] (brother)
Education
Alma mater
WebsiteInstitute for Global Change
n.b. ^ constituency was abolished in 1974

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]

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 | change source]

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 | change source]

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 | change source]

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]

After-PM[change | change source]

On the day of his resignation, Blair was made an official envoy in the Middle East. He later became Chairman of the Commission for Africa.[source?]

References[change | change source]

  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 edition ed.). Polity Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0745625942.CS1 maint: extra text (link)
  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. Retrieved 5 December 2009.[dead link]
  5. "History of the Labour Party". Labour.org.uk.[dead link]
  6. "The Secret of His Success? A Pair of Lucky Brogues". TimesOnline. Retrieved 5 December 2009.[dead link]

Other websites[change | change source]