POLITICS

Tony Blair Is 'Really Serious' About 'Remaking The Centre Left' Of British Politics

The former prime minister is not going away.

10/08/2017 09:01 BST | Updated 10/08/2017 11:47 BST

Tony Blair has said he is “really serious” about “remaking the centre left in British politics”.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, the former prime minister said he believed there was an “urgent need” for progressive politics to “recapture its traction” with voters.

Blair recently launched his Institute for Global Change think-tank which he said was designed to reinvigorate the centre-ground of British politics.

Speaking to the Reflections with Peter Hennessy programme, the former Labour leader said the “centre” could only succeed again if it became the “place of change”.

PA Wire/PA Images
Tony Blair has said he is 'really serious' about 'remaking the centre left in British politics'

Blair has made no secret of his criticism of the “populism” of people like Donald Trump and Nigel Farage on the right as well as current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the left.

“Post financial crisis, post 9/11, people want change. And the stresses of globalisation culture and economic are severe. But the change has got to be change that’s sensible and modern,” he said.

“The truth is this populism of left and right where the right essentially blame the immigrants and the left go anti-business, I mean this will not produce solutions.

“This is riding the anger, not providing the answers. So I mean I am unapologetic, even though it looks like the centre has been marginalised in British politics today that it is the right solution and I still think even after this election there are millions of disenfranchised people.”

Talk of the creation of a new party of the centre has re-emerged this week after James Chapman, the former chief of staff to Brexit secretary David Davis, said pro-EU MPs should unite.

However, serious discussions in Westminster about the formation of a new party formed of liberal Tories and anti-Brexit Labour MPs have dissipated following the general election result.