Blair 'Feels Sorry' For PM With 'Sharks Always Circling'

Blair 'Feels Sorry' For PM With 'Sharks Always Circling'

Tony Blair says he feels "sorry" for Theresa May as she is surrounded by people waiting to "throw her off the ledge".

The former prime minister said he believed Mrs May has the "best interests of the country at heart" although reiterated he strongly disagrees with her about how to approach Brexit.

Mr Blair, asked if he feels any sympathy for Mrs May, told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: "Yeah, I do, of course, because I know what it's like to do the job.

"I think it's a very unsatisfactory situation where you've got the Prime Minister surrounded by people who are just waiting for the moment they decide to throw her off the ledge.

"I think there's something a little unseemly about all of it really.

"And I do feel sorry for her because she is somebody who has got the best interests of the country at heart, it's just that I profoundly disagree with her about Brexit.

"I understand why she thinks 'Look, the people have spoken, my job is to deliver that verdict'.

"But I would just like to see more leadership and less followership."

Asked if he could empathise with the "sharks circling" around the PM, Mr Blair replied: "When you've done the job, it's a small club of people, you realise it's very tough.

"It's a great privilege to do it, of course, but you're taking decisions all the time, every day, and you're under enormous pressure and, yeah, the sharks are always circling."

Mr Blair also said it is "possible now that Brexit doesn't happen", adding it is "absolutely necessary that it doesn't happen" due to the economic and political "damage" it is doing to the UK.

He said Labour is "providing the opposition up to a point" but he would like to see the party "go further" over Brexit.

Mr Blair paid tribute to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's temperament during the election campaign and how he mobilised younger voters.

He added: "What I don't buy is two things: first of all I think a lot of people voted Labour not because they thought he was about to be Prime Minister and Labour was about to win, but because they were horrified at the Tory campaign and they wanted to put the brakes on it.

"Secondly, I think although significant numbers of people for sure voted for him with enthusiasm, I think there were an awful lot of people voted for him because they couldn't stomach the Tories and wanted to make a point.

"And I'm sceptical myself that this is a coalition that's capable of holding, particularly if it becomes clear that we are really in the same position as the Tories on Brexit."

Mr Blair said he has not changed his mind about his doubts on Mr Corbyn being a good prime minister.

"I think the problem with that old left programme is that it just doesn't meet the needs of the times and the danger for the country and look, all I do when I speak on these things is get a shedload of abuse so why am I doing it?

"I am actually really worried about the country at the moment. I think if you follow up Brexit with a hard left economic programme, this country is going to be in real trouble."


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