POLITICS

Tony And Cherie Blair Return To Campaign Politics Ahead Of The General Election

07/04/2015 02:09 | Updated 07 April 2015

Tony and Cherie Blair will return to the frontline of British politics on Tuesday, the pair embarking on a campaign for Labour ahead of the general election on May 7. The former prime minister, whose once-promising legacy was fatally damaged by the misadventure in Iraq, is to warn against the economic chaos that would result of giving David Cameron a second term.

Blair, speaking in his former constituency of Sedgefield, is to highlight Cameron's appeasement of right wing Tories and Ukip, suggesting this is pushing Britain toward Europe's exit door. His appearance, alongside his wife, will be the first in a series of campaign stops over the coming days. He will say the possibility of a British exit from the European Union would create job insecurity and leave a "pall of unpredictability hanging over the British economy".

tony blair

Tony and Cherie are to hit the campaign trail for Labour

Blair will praise his Labour successor for showing "real leadership" in opposing an in-out referendum - though Ed Miliband will not be present, as he is due to be campaigning in the south west of England.

Cameron is due to step up his own campaign with a national tour, starting in Scotland and taking in all four nations of the United Kingdom in a matter of hours.

In his speech, Blair will say: "I believe passionately that leaving Europe would leave Britain diminished in the world, do significant damage to our economy and, less obviously but just as important to our future, would go against the very qualities and ambitions that mark us out still as a great global nation."

He will add: "And the oddest thing of all about David Cameron's position? The PM doesn't really believe we should leave Europe; not even the Europe as it is today. This was a concession to party, a manoeuvre to access some of the Ukip vote, a sop to the rampant anti-Europe feeling of parts of the media. This issue, touching as it does the country's future, is too important to be traded like this."

Blair is also expected to focus on Russian aggression as well as the economic rise of China and India.

"Do we really think this is the time in which to put into play our very membership of the European Union, the largest commercial market and most developed political union in the world? And the one on our doorstep? So that instead of playing a leading role in resolving these common challenges, we would decide to engage in the juddering impact of a negotiation which would weaken all these alliances and put us out of the leadership game?"

SEE ALSO:

Below is a breakdown of how Tony Blair made his millions:

  • Handbags
    Margaret Thatcher was famed for her handbag, but it's Blair who advises French fashion house Louis Vuitton.
  • Climate Change
    PA
    Floods of cash: he has a six-figure-salary job, advising Swiss financial firm, Zurich Insurance, on... climate change.
  • Public Speaking
    PA
    £6,000 a minute: Blair is believed to be the highest-paid public speaker in the world.
  • Kazakhstan
    PA
    Blair, champion of democracy, has a multi-million-pound advising Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev on 'good governance'.
  • Banking
    Forget the financial crash, he's estimated to make £2m a year advising US investment bank J.P. Morgan.

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