49 Facts About Prime Minister Tony Blair

1. Prime Minister Tony Blair was awarded the prize in May 2009.

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2. On 16 February 2009, Prime Minister Tony 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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3. On 22 May 2008, Prime Minister Tony 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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4. On 16 March 2007, Prime Minister Tony 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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5. On 14 March 2007, Prime Minister Tony 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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6. Prime Minister Tony 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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7. Prime Minister Tony Blair made an animated cameo appearance as himself in The Simpsons episode, "The Regina Monologues".

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8. Prime Minister Tony Blair had informed Pope Benedict XVI on 23 June 2007 that he wanted to become a Catholic.

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9. On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Prime Minister Tony Blair had joined the Roman Catholic Church.

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10. Prime Minister Tony 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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11. Prime Minister Tony 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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12. Prime Minister Tony 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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13. Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged that the report made "real and material criticisms of preparation, planning, process and of the relationship with the United States" but cited sections of the report that he said "should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit".

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14. Prime Minister Tony Blair was pelted with eggs and shoes, and encountered an attempted citizen's arrest for war crimes.

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15. Prime Minister Tony 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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16. Prime Minister Tony Blair's links with, and receipt of an undisclosed sum from, UI Energy Corporation, have been subject to media comment in the UK.

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17. Prime Minister Tony 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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18. In May 2008 Prime Minister Tony 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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19. In 2006 Prime Minister Tony Blair was criticised for his failure to immediately call for a ceasefire in the 2006 Lebanon War.

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20. In 1994, Prime Minister Tony Blair forged close ties with Michael Levy, a leader of the Jewish Leadership Council.

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21. Prime Minister Tony Blair showed a deep feeling for Israel, born in part from his faith.

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22. Prime Minister Tony 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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23. Prime Minister Tony Blair built his foreign policy on basic principles and added a new activist philosophy of "interventionism".

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24. Prime Minister Tony Blair criticised other governments for not doing enough to solve global climate change.

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25. Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced substantial market-based reforms in the education and health sectors; introduced student tuition fees and sought to reduce certain categories of welfare payments.

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26. Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced tough anti-terrorism and identity card legislation.

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27. Prime Minister Tony 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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28. Prime Minister Tony 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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29. In 2001, Prime Minister Tony 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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30. Prime Minister Tony 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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31. Prime Minister Tony 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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32. Prime Minister Tony 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. Prime Minister Tony 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. Prime Minister Tony Blair said he believed the world was safer as a result of the invasion.

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35. Prime Minister Tony 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. Prime Minister Tony 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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37. Prime Minister Tony 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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38. Prime Minister Tony 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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39. Prime Minister Tony Blair received his first front-bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesman.

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40. Prime Minister Tony Blair was helped on the campaign trail by soap opera actress Pat Phoenix, his father-in-law's girlfriend.

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41. In 1982, Prime Minister Tony 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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42. Prime Minister Tony 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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43. Prime Minister Tony Blair joined the Labour Party shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975.

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44. Prime Minister Tony 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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45. Prime Minister Tony Blair was influenced by fellow student and Anglican priest Peter Thomson, who awakened his religious faith and left-wing politics.

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46. Prime Minister Tony Blair was the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair.

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

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48. Prime Minister Tony Blair has faced criticism for his role in the invasion of Iraq, including calls for having him tried for war crimes and waging a war of aggression; in 2016, the Iraq Inquiry criticised his actions and described the invasion as unjustified and unnecessary.

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49. Prime Minister Tony Blair declared support for a new conception that he referred to as "social-ism", involving politics that recognised individuals as socially interdependent, and advocated social justice, cohesion, the equal worth of each citizen, and equal opportunity, referred to as the Third Way.

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