Tony Blair Backs Labour, Even With Jeremy Corbyn As Leader, He Tells Andrew Marr

Just one day after he warned giving Corbyn power was a 'very dangerous experiment'...

29/05/2016 15:24

Tony Blair has said he would tell people to vote for Labour even with Jeremy Corbyn at the party helm, despite being a vocal opponent of the leader's views.

The former Labour prime minister told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that he does not "disrespect" the Islington MP.

It comes after Blair warned on Saturday that Britain would be embarking on a “very dangerous experiment” if it gave Corbyn power.

Owen Humphreys/PA Archive
Tony Blair said that he would still tell people to vote for Labour, despite criticising Jeremy Corbyn in the past.

Blair said that he was not being disloyal against Corbyn and his attempts to come up with new policies that address some of the anger among voters.

Blair said: "Let's wait and see what those policies are. I don't disrespect him as a person and his views at all."

On whether he could imagine himself telling people to vote Labour, the former PM said: "I will always tell people to vote Labour because I am Labour - it is just the way I am."

He added: "Personally, I would like to see the centre, by that I mean the centre-left and the centre-right, get its grip and its traction back on the political scene.

"I honestly do believe that a lot of the solutions to the problems we face today are less about ideology and far more to do with practicality and understanding modernity and the way that the modern world works."

Speaking to the BBC’s This Week’s World on Saturday, Blair said that the centre ground needed to "recover" and "get its mojo back".

Asked if Corbyn was a product of his, Blair said: “No, I think it’s a result of the way the world works these days, but it’s a big challenge for the centre, and when I’m not thinking about the Middle East, I’m thinking about this because I do think, by the way, it would be a very dangerous experiment for a major western country to get gripped by this type of populist policy making, left or right.

“I do think the centre ground needs to work out how it recovers its... gets its mojo back, and gets the initiative back in the political debate because otherwise... these guys aren’t providing answers, not on the economy, not on foreign policy.”

This is not the first time that Blair has spoken against Corbyn. Writing in the Spectator last year, he warned Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour was a “tragedy” as the party does not look like it will win power.

Ahead of the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war on July 6, Marr asked Blair on Sunday if he was in favour of the UK going into war to confront Isis in Syria on the ground.

He said: "I am in favour of confronting Isis on the ground in Syria but we don't need to do it with our own boots on the ground."

On the issue of the EU referendum, Blair called it the "most important decision we will have to make since World War Two".

Suggest a correction