Snap! £180 for a photo with Tony Blair
The former PM’s latest money-making scheme takes him to western Canada
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's hunger to make a fast buck knows no bounds. According to a report in the Sunday Times, he is to speak at an event in British Columbia next week where, after a 30-minute speech for which he is being paid a reported £100,000, Canadians will be charged £180 to pause for a photograph with 'our Tone'.
One of the organisers of the event, Norman Stowe, said that each photo will be over in under four seconds - netting a tidy £45 a second.
The photo op is included in the price of a premium ticket to the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, of which 100 have been sold. "The people who are doing this are quite keen and obviously follow his career," said Stowe.
Estimates are that Blair has earned at least £15m through book deals and lectures since he left Downing Street in 2007, making him the highest-earning ex-PM ever.
He needs the money because he and his wife Cherie picked up some expensive tastes during their ten years in power. "All those visits to the holiday homes of Silvio Berlusconi and Cliff Richard gave them some pretty fancy ideas," said a Westminster watcher.
As a result there have been a series of planning sagas as the Blair have sought to extend their London home in Connaught Square and now their country pad, the Grade 1 listed South Pavilion in Wootton Underwood, Buckinghamshire.
Neighbours say their request to make a guest house out of a derelict cottage in the grounds of the property - once the home of actor John Gielgud - is a case of "over-development". ·
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