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I will always tell people to back Labour Party, Tony Blair says

Published 29/05/2016

Tony Blair said he does not 'disrespect' Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair said he does not 'disrespect' Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

Tony Blair has said he would tell people to vote for Labour even with Jeremy Corbyn at the party helm.

The former prime minister who appeared on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show said he does not "disrespect" the Islington MP and his views.

Asked by Mr Marr if he thinks it would be a terrible risk for Jeremy Corbyn to be elected, as he reportedly said this week, Mr Blair denied he was talking about the Labour leader.

He also said he was not being disloyal against Mr Corbyn and his attempts to come up with new policies that address some of the anger among voters.

Mr Blair said: "Let's wait and see what those policies are. I don't disrespect him as a person and his views at all."

On whether he could imagine himself telling people to vote Labour, the former PM said: "I will always tell people to vote Labour because I am Labour - it is just the way I am."

He added: "Personally, I would like to see the centre, by that I mean the centre-left and the centre-right, get its grip and its traction back on the political scene.

"I honestly do believe that a lot of the solutions to the problems we face today are less about ideology and far more to do with practicality and understanding modernity and the way that the modern world works."

Ahead of the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war on July 6, Mr Marr asked Mr Blair if he was in favour of the UK going into war to confront Isis in Syria on the ground.

He said: "I am in favour of confronting Isis on the ground in Syria but we don't need to do it with our own boots on the ground."

On the issue of the EU referendum, Mr Blair called it the "most important decision we will have to make since World War Two".

Pressed on whether he would accept the findings of the Chilcot report, Mr Blair said: " It is hard to say that when I haven't seen it."

The former PM defended his decisions on Iraq, saying: "I think when you go back and you look at what was said, I don't think anyone can seriously dispute that I was making it very clear what my position was."

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From Belfast Telegraph