Blair, Tony

Blair, Tony
(1953– )
   Tony Blair began his leadership of the Labour Party in July 1994 and became Prime Minister in May 1997. Having entered the House of Commons in 1983 as Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, he rose to prominence after the 1992 election, serving as an opposition spokesman successively on trade and industry, energy, employment and home affairs. In 1997, he led Labour to a landslide victory and became the youngest person to enter Ten Downing Street as premier since Lord Liverpool in 1812. He was Labour’s longest-serving Prime Minister, having won a second landslide in 2001 and a third victory with a substantial majority in 2005. He is the only person to have led the party to three consecutive election victories. Prior to the 2005 election, he announced that he would stand down at some point before the next, held on or before 3 June 2010.
   Tony Blair is portrayed by admirers and critics as the main architect of New Labour and as moving the party towards the centre ground in British politics. Steps along the way included the rewriting of Clause IV of the party’s constitution, support for a market economy rather than the traditional Labour policy of nationalisation, and pursuit of a third way. He claimed to have retained the party’s traditional values but to have brought them into line with present-day circumstances and reality. Opponents believe that he placed insufficient emphasis on traditional Labour priorities such as the redistribution of wealth and the pursuit of greater equality of outcome. They feel that he was harsh on its traditional backers, the trade unions and many workers in the public services, and too willing to cultivate business leaders and the voters of Middle England.
   Following the advent of the war on terror, Tony Blair was much concerned with external affairs, especially issues concerning Iraq. He supported many aspects of the Bush foreign policy, sending British forces to participate in the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation. Opponents found it hard to forgive him for the stance he adopted, not least because they feel that they were misled about the threat posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein and the existence of weapons of mass destruction. As his time in office drew to a close, opponents found themselves at odds with other policies, be they antiterrorism laws, ID cards and the commitment to modernise the structure and approach of the public services, especially in educational and health provision. Allegations of sleaze proved additionally damaging to his reputation, particularly early in the third administration when the loans for peerages story unfolded. Tony Blair stood down as Labour leader on 24 June 2007 and resigned as Premier three days later. He was appointed Steward and Baliff of the Chiltern Hundreds, thus disqualified from continuing as an MP. On the same day, he was appointed as the official envoy of the Quartet (the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia) in the Middle East.
   See also: Blairism, Cabinet Office, Ecclestone affair, Iraq war, presidential government, prime ministerial government
   Further reading: P. Hennessy, The Prime Minister, Allen Lane, 2000; P. Riddell, The Unfulfilled Prime Minister, Politico’s, 2005; A. Seldon, Blair, Free Press, 2004

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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  • Blair, Tony — orig. Anthony Charles Lynton born May 6, 1953, Edinburgh, Scot. British politician who in 1997 became the country s youngest prime minister since 1812. Blair was a lawyer before winning election to the House of Commons in 1983. Entering the… …   Universalium

  • Tony Blair — Tony Blair …   Wikipedia Español

  • Blair — /blair/, n. 1. Anthony Charles Lynton /lin teuhn/ (Tony), born 1953, British political leader: prime minister since 1997. 2. Also, Blaire. a male or female given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Blair Henry William Blair Tony Eric Arthur… …   Universalium

  • blair — [ blɛr ] n. m. • 1872; abrév. de blaireau, par allus. à son museau allongé ♦ Arg. fam. Nez. ⇒ blase, 2. tarin. ● blair nom masculin (de blaireau) Populaire. Nez. Blair (Tony) (né en 1953) homme politique britannique. En 1994, il est devenu le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Blair — Blair, Toni * * * (as used in expressions) Blair, Henry William Blair, Tony Eric Arthur Blair Port Blair …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Blair — Blair, Tony (1953 ) a British politician who became leader of the Labour Party in 1994, and Prime Minister in 1997. He won a large victory again in the election in 2001, becoming the first Labour Prime Minister to win two full ↑terms in power,… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Tony Blair — For other people named Tony Blair, see Tony Blair (disambiguation). The Right Honourable Tony Blair …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Blair — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Blair. Tony Blair Tony Blair au Forum économique mondial de Davos, en 2009 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • tony — /toh nee/, adj., tonier, toniest. Informal. high toned; stylish: a tony nightclub. [1875 80, Amer.; TONE + Y1] * * * (as used in expressions) Bennett Tony Blair Tony Curtis Tony Garnier Tony Kushner Tony Pastor Tony Richardson Tony Tony Awards *… …   Universalium

  • Tony — /toh nee/, n., pl. Tonys. one of a group of awards made annually by the American Theatre Wing, a professional school for the performing arts, for achievements in theatrical production and performance. [after the nickname of Antoinette Perry] /toh …   Universalium

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