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Tony Blair forced to deny he is founding a new political party but still wants a role | Politics | New

The former Prime Minister was speaking at a conference in London where centrist political ideas were discussed. Sir Tony was adamant he was not offering a manifesto, telling his audience that there were two main political parties in the UK and he did not see that changing.

The former Labor leader admitted at the conference that Brexit will not be reversed in the near future.

A fierce opponent of Britain’s exit from the European Union, Sir Tony quoted Brexit as an example of a political challenge facing the UK that must be addressed.

He said: “The stuff in North Ireland hurt us.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss introduced a bill in parliament which, if successful, would allow ministers to unilaterally tear up elements of a Northern Ireland trade deal between the EU and the UK.

In remarks to the Future of Britain conference, Sir Tony said: ‘This is not a new party, but this is new policy and the policies we need to make sure any program that we have works and endures for the future.”

He continued: “Britain is facing unprecedented challenges in recent times. Some, like the technological revolution and the achievement of Net Zero, we share with other nations. Some, like Brexit, are unique to Great Britain.

“But with the cost of living crisis and the shadow of recession looming, we cannot afford to continue as we are. We must plan and prepare for a new world.”

Sir Tony was joined at the conference by former Conservative MP David Gauke, former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and former International Development Minister Rory Stewart.


Referring to Joe Biden’s victory in the United States, he said, “Does that mean the fight is over? No. But that means it’s not a hopeless fight.”

Author William Atkinson, deputy editor of the website ConservativeHome, criticized the event for misunderstanding the nature of British centrism.

He wrote in the same publication: “It is almost certain that a majority of those attending this conference will not have voted for Brexit, and a plurality will not have opted for Boris Johnson in 2019.

“But a majority of the country did – and that’s who this conference is supposed to be about.

“That’s why these people aren’t in power. Blair, Rice, Summers – these are people who are desperate to take the world back to the turn of the millennium.

“Having them headline a conference on the future of British politics in 2022 is as absurd as Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe doing it at a similar event in 2002.

“Yet Blair’s unstoppable ego means he has to.”

Sir Tony, who has been a persistent critic of former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, said Sir Keir Starmer had done an “incredible” job of reforming the party.

He joked that he had only to come after former leaders Neil Kinnock and John Smith, whose positions as party leader were cut short by a fatal heart attack in May 1994.

Sir Tony said: ‘For Labor to win they have to have a political platform, that’s absolutely clear.

He went on to mention the Liberal Democrat victory in the by-elections of Tiverton and Honiton, a former Conservative safe seat.

Sir Tony said: ‘These people must be comfortable with a Labor government.

He stressed that Labor’s success would be based on politics, not arithmetic.