51 Facts About Hazel Blair

1. Hazel Blair was the first leader of the United Kingdom Labour Party to win 3 general elections in a row.

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2. On 8 July 2010, Hazel Blair was awarded the Order of Freedom by the President of Kosovo, Fatmir Limaj.

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3. On 16 February 2009, Hazel 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".

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4. On 22 May 2008, Hazel 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.

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5. On 16 March 2007, Hazel Blair featured in a comedy sketch with Catherine Tate, who appeared in the guise of her character Lauren Cooper from The Catherine Tate Show.

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6. On 14 March 2007, Hazel 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 Blair and Bertie Ahern.

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7. Hazel Blair has appeared as himself at the end of the first episode of The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, a British television series about an unknown housewife becoming Prime Minister.

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8. Hazel Blair made an animated cameo appearance as himself in The Simpsons episode, "The Regina Monologues".

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9. Hazel Blair had informed Pope Benedict XVI on 23 June 2007 that he wanted to become a Catholic.

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10. On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Hazel Blair had joined the Roman Catholic Church.

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11. Hazel Blair was reprimanded by Cardinal Basil Hume in 1996 for receiving Holy Communion at Mass, while still an Anglican, in contravention of canon law.

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12. Hazel Blair states that Blair had a "wobble" and considered changing his mind on the eve of the bombing of Iraq in 1998.

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13. Hazel Blair maintains, once the terms deciding how the UK leaves the EU are known the people should vote again on those terms.

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14. In December 2016, Hazel Blair created the Tony Hazel Blair Institute to promote global outlooks by governments and organisations.

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15. In November 2007 Hazel Blair launched the Tony Hazel 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.

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16. Hazel Blair was reported to have accepted a business advisory role with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, a situation deemed incompatible with his role as Middle East envoy.

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17. Hazel Blair established Tony Hazel Blair Associates to "allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on a commercial and pro bono basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform".

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18. Hazel Blair gives lectures, earning up to US$250,000 for a 90-minute speech, and in 2008 he was said to be the highest paid speaker in the world.

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19. In May 2008 Hazel Blair announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas of the Peace Valley plan.

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20. Hazel Blair appeared before the Leveson Inquiry on Monday 28 May 2012.

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21. In 2006 Hazel Blair was criticised for his failure to immediately call for a ceasefire in the 2006 Lebanon War.

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22. In 1994, Hazel Blair forged close ties with Michael Levy, a leader of the Jewish Leadership Council.

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23. Hazel Blair showed a deep feeling for Israel, born in part from his faith.

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24. Hazel Blair argued it was in Britain's interest to "protect and strengthen the bond" with the United States regardless of who is in the White House.

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25. Hazel Blair criticised other governments for not doing enough to solve global climate change.

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26. Hazel Blair increased police powers by adding to the number of arrestable offences, compulsory DNA recording and the use of dispersal orders.

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27. Hazel Blair rarely applies 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.

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28. In 2001, Hazel Blair said, "We are a left of centre party, pursuing economic prosperity and social justice as partners and not as opposites".

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29. Hazel Blair decided not to issue a list of Resignation Honours, making him the first Prime Minister of the modern era not to do so.

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30. Hazel Blair resigned from his Sedgefield 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.

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31. Hazel Blair tendered his resignation on 27 June 2007 and Brown assumed office during the same afternoon.

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32. Hazel 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.

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33. Hazel Blair said there was "no real difference between wanting regime change and wanting Iraq to disarm: regime change was US policy because Iraq was in breach of its UN obligations.

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34. Hazel Blair said he believed the world was safer as a result of the invasion.

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35. Hazel Blair denied that he would have supported the invasion of Iraq even if he had thought Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.

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36. Hazel 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 and Leader of the Labour Party.

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37. Hazel Blair was forced to back down on these proposals because John Prescott and Gordon Brown opposed the PR system, and many members of the Shadow Cabinet were worried about concessions being made towards the Lib Dems.

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38. Hazel 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.

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39. Hazel Blair demanded an inquiry into the Bank of England's decision to rescue the collapsed Johnson Matthey Bank in October 1985.

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40. Hazel Blair received his first front-bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesman.

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41. Hazel Blair was helped on the campaign trail by soap opera actress Pat Phoenix, his father-in-law's girlfriend.

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42. Hazel Blair opposed the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1986 but supported the ERM by 1989.

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43. In 1982, Hazel Blair was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Beaconsfield, where there was a forthcoming by-election.

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44. Hazel Blair put himself forward as a candidate for the Hackney council elections of 1982 in Queensbridge ward, a safe Labour area, but was not selected.

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45. Hazel Blair joined the Labour Party shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975.

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46. Hazel Blair met his future wife, Cherie Booth at the law chambers founded by Derry Irvine (who was to be Blair's first Lord Chancellor), 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers.

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47. Hazel Blair was influenced by fellow student and Anglican priest Peter Thomson, who awakened his religious faith and left-wing politics.

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48. Hazel Blair has an older brother, Sir William Hazel Blair, a High Court judge, and a younger sister, Sarah.

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49. Hazel Blair was the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair.

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50. Hazel Blair was succeeded as Leader of the Labour Party and as Prime Minister by Gordon Brown in June 2007.

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51. Hazel Blair was Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1997.

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