Tony Blair's office has denied reports that the former Labour prime minister had struck up a "special relationship" with David Cameron.

A spokesman for the former PM dismissed as "overblown" suggestions that Mr Blair was advising his Tory successor on issues ranging from public service reform to the euro crisis and the economy.

Downing Street declined to comment on a report in the Daily Mail which said Mr Blair had visited the PM at his country residence Chequers and had spoken to him by phone at least seven times since he took power in 2010.

The purpose of the talks was to update Mr Cameron on developments in the Middle East, in Mr Blair's role as international envoy, said the paper.

But it quoted an unnamed senior source as saying that their conversations range beyond the Middle East to take in domestic policy issues.

"They have a lot to talk about," said the source. "It is quite a special relationship between one Prime Minister and another. Who else knows what you're going through?

"They ostensibly talk about the Middle East but when you've got him on the phone it is natural to talk politics."

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: "Of course, from time to time he speaks to the PM, particularly in his role as Quartet representative, as he does with many world leaders.

"But he does not routinely advise the PM on domestic or other policy."

And the spokesman added: "Let's be clear, there is no 'special relationship' on either part. As we've said before, Tony Blair occasionally talks to the PM as he does with a number of other world leaders. This is as far as it goes. This story is overblown."

Cameron and Blair clashed with each other in the Commons for nearly two years between the autumn of 2005 and the summer of 2007. As leader of the opposition Cameron was considered the first Tory leader to land significant blows on Blair at PMQs - most famously deriding Blair by shouting: "He was the future, once!"

However when Blair finally resigned in 2007 David Cameron annoyed some of his backbenchers by encouraging them to join a standing ovation, as Blair left the Commons for the last time as Prime Minister.