UK

Tony Blair Dragged Into Thai Expenses Row

16/08/2013 15:41 BST | Updated 16/08/2013 15:43 BST

Tony Blair's name has been dragged into a row over expenses after the Thai deputy prime minister came forward to deny paying the former British Prime Minister a £410,000 fee.

Thailand's ministry of foreign affairs told The Guardian the ex-Labour leader would not be paid for attending a reconciliation forum next month in Bangkok, and that only his travel and accommodation costs would be covered.

tony blair

Thailand has denied paying Tony Blair a £410,000 fee

The news followed a local report claiming that Blair's attendance would cost hundred thousands of pounds.

A spokesman for Blair – one of the highest-paid public speakers in the world – said he was attending the event "in support of the Thai government's ongoing peace and reconciliation initiatives."

"This is an important time for Thailand's economic, social and democratic development and Tony Blair is very happy to help in whatever way he can."

The spokesman added the event is being done on an "entirely pro bono basis; there is no fee and there never was."

Blair hit headlines earlier this year after it was reported he was paid £400,000 for two half-hour speeches.