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Blair cash for Labour candidates

Tony Blair has donated more than £100,000 to help Labour's election campaign, with the money going to key battleground seats.

The former prime minister has made a donation of £1,000 to the local campaigns in 106 target constituencies, saying they were "where the election will be won for Labour".

A Labour spokesman said the party was "delighted" that Mr Blair had put his own money behind the effort to get Ed Miliband into Downing Street.

In a letter to the 106 candidates, Mr Blair said: "As the final countdown to the general election begins, I am writing to wish you every success in your efforts to be elected and also to make a donation to your campaign.

"I know how hard it can be to raise money to fund a local campaign, but for you, in one of our 106 battleground seats, it is even more vital. This is where the election will be won for Labour and that is why I am making a donation to all 106 campaigns.

"As one of our key seat candidates you know better than most the scale of the challenge we face, but I have every confidence that with your drive, determination and organisational skills, you will deliver a successful local campaign that will also see our party returned to government.

"So, good luck and here's to a Labour victory on May 7."

A Labour spokesman said: "We're delighted that Tony Blair has given so generously to the local campaigns in the battleground seats our party is targeting at this general election.

"Our campaign is not based on big posters, talking over the heads of voters, or the sound and fury of Westminster politics. It is based on millions of conversations with people on their doorsteps and in their communities.

"This donation from a former leader who won three general elections for our party will help Ed Miliband win again for Labour and for Britain on May 7."