Tony Blair insists he would cosy up to Donald Trump if he were still Prime Minister, as he defended Theresa May’s relationship with the controversial US President.
Blair, who developed close ties with Bill Clinton and George W Bush during his ten years in Downing Street, admitted dealing with Trump “has got its challenges”, but the current Prime Minister has taken the right approach.
May was the first world leader to meet Trump after he was inaugurated as President, and was even snapped holding his hand as the pair walked out of White House press conference.
In an interview with comedian Matt Forde for TV show Unspun, Blair also described former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as “fun” as he reminisced over his decade leading the country.
He also joked that any pictures of him from his days as a singer in student rock group while at university would show “bad stuff” and quipped that If social media had been around when he was younger he would never have become Prime Minister.
When asked how he would engage with Trump, Blair replied: “People want me to criticise Theresa May over this but I think the British Prime Minister should always get on well with the president of the United States.
“It has got its challenges obviously. But it is important because in the end there are many things we are going be working on together in different parts of the world.”
When asked about what it was like to deal with the colourful former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Blair replied: “The absolute truth is that he was fun.”
Away from international politics, Blair joked about his brief stint as lead singer of the band Ugly Rumours when he was a student at Oxford University in the early 1970s.
“I was the lead singer and played the guitar. I did both extremely badly,” he told Forde.
Despite enthusiastic encouragement from the audience, Blair declined the offer of performing a track with Forde’s house band MP4 - comprised of politicians Kevin Brennan, Sir Greg Knight, Ian Cawsey and Pete Wishart.
Forde showed Blair a series of embarrassing photos of the former Labour leader from his younger days, prompting the 63-year-old to say: “Let this be a warning to any young person that wants a political career.
“That is one of the very few pictures of me that is highly embarrassing. Today with social media, just be careful.
“When I was in the band, if we had social media, I certainly wouldn’t have been Prime Minister.”
The full interview with Tony Blair can be seen on Unspun With Matt Forde tonight at 10pm on Dave.