15/11/2012 16:55 GMT

Tony Blair Misses Bill Clinton Event After His Father Taken 'Seriously Ill'

Tony Blair missed hosting an event with former US president Bill Clinton tonight after his father, Leo, was taken seriously ill.

The former prime minister was due to host an "in conversation" event with Mr Clinton at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in central London.

In a message to the audience, which included Lord Mandelson and shadow business minister Chuka Umunna, he said he was "really sorry" to have missed the event.

In the statement read out before the event, Mr Blair said: "I am really sorry that I am not able to be with you tonight.

"My father has been taken seriously ill and I wanted to be with him and my family tonight.

"I am a great believer in Third Way progressive politics. I still believe it is the answer in these troubled times and can think of no-one better to explain it than my great friend President Clinton."