01/12/2016 13:16 GMT | Updated 01/12/2016 19:46 GMT

Tony Blair Sets Up Institute To Develop 'Policy Agenda For Centre Ground'

Tony Blair has announced the creation of a new institute which he will use to develop "a new policy agenda for the centre ground".

The former prime minister insisted that the organisation would not be a think tank, and its establishment was not a step towards him returning to the front line of UK politics.

But he said he hoped to develop "open-minded" ideas and practical solutions to global problems which will help politicians counter the growing wave of "populism" on right and left.

Mr Blair - who has called for a second referendum on the UK's withdrawal from the EU - confirmed that Britain's relationship with Europe would be a key issue for the new body, but insisted it would not be its only purpose.

In a statement released by his office, he said: "This is not about my returning to the front line of politics. I have made it abundantly clear that this is not possible.

"However, I care about my country and the world my children and grandchildren will grow up in, and want to play at least a small part in contributing to the debate about the future of both."