Tony Blair Returns With Ed Miliband Event, But Not Everyone Is Pleased

Posted: Updated:
TONY BLAIR
PA

Tony Blair made another attempt to re-enter the British political fray this evening when he joined Labour leader Ed Miliband at an event at Arsenal's Emirates stadium in north London, although not everyone was happy to see him.

The ex-PM was known to have been more supportive of Ed's brother David in the 2010 leadership election. However Wednesday night's event signalled both Blair and Miliband (E) are willing to look past that, with the news emerging Blair will contribute to a Labour Party review of sporting policy in the wake of the Olympics.

In May Ed Miliband indicated that Blair was back on the radar, circling for landing, when he told the Daily Telegraph that the former Labour leader had been "nothing but helpful, supportive, friendly" and gave him "good advice".

But one shadow cabinet minister has criticised any attempt to welcome Blair back into the Labour fold as "a mistake".

“Tens of thousands of people have joined the party since Ed became leader," they told The Huffington Post. "They’d either left [under Blair and Brown] or refused to join. Why demotivate them like this?”

The event also saw a demonstration by the Stop The War Coalition, who claimed credit for Blair's decision to pull out of an event with ex-Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell yesterday.

A spokesperson for STWC told The Huffington Post on Wednesday afternoon that the overall goal of their protests was to get events with Blair cancelled or have him "disinvited" from them.

However they acknowledged that as this evening's event with Miliband was quite large it was unlikely to have be scrapped.

BLOG: Come On Ed, You Don't Need Tony To Win

Since he left Downing Street in 2007, Blair has famously amassed a multi-million pound fortune via a collection of jobs including highly paid roles for banks JP Morgan and Zurich Financial Services.

He also serves as the Middle East Peace Envoy and runs his Tony Blair Faith Foundation which promotes "inter-religious dialogue".

But these roles have apparently not satisfied Blair, who has made no secret of his desire to rehabilitate his reputation at home.

Asked in June if he fancied another stab at being prime minister he replied: "Yes". Although he acknowledged it was unlikely to happen.

He also recently revealed that he wishes he had made more of an effort to secure the job of president of the European Union, a job that eventually went to Herman Van Rompuy.

So now Blair has returned from his travels, and Labour adviser role aside, what other jobs could he take on?

There have been calls for him to be handed a prominent role at this summer's Olympics given his crucial role in securing the Games - beyond advising Labour on sports policy.

Or what about a place in a reformed House of Lords. HuffPost is sure the title 'Senator Blair' would have the ex-Labour leader grinning one of his trademark grins - for a full 15-year term.

Failing that appearing alongside Miliband and Blair at Wednesday evening's event was Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, and he has got to retire soon surely...
Quick Poll

Are You Pleased To See Tony Blair Back?

VOTE