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Blair ‘feels sorry’ for PM with ‘sharks always circling’

The former prime minister said he believed Theresa May has the “best interests of the country at heart”.

Tony Blair has said 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.

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Mr Blair said he believed Mrs May has the "best interests of the country at heart" (Leon Neal/PA)

“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.”

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Tony Blair said he would "like to see more leadership and less followership" (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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.

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