Blair 'comeback': will 'Lord Tony' become PM? Er, no
A sceptic suggests that way too much is being read into former PM's personnel choices
MEDIA speculation that Tony Blair is preparing for a return to British politics is rife this morning following his appointment of a new director of communications. While some have suggested Blair could one day return to Number 10, others are sceptical.
The rumours can be traced back to a source close to Blair who was quoted in Public Affairs News magazine saying: "He wants to re-engage in the UK. He has things to say and he thinks it's the right time. The question is how he re-enters the UK scene without re-entering domestic politics and interfering with the Labour Party."
The phrase "without re-entering domestic politics", does rather stand out, but nonetheless the quote has become the basis of headlines this morning trumpeting Blair's 'return to British politics'.
There has been no comment from the Labour Party regarding the return of Blair, although a spokesman for Ed Miliband said: "Tony Blair is a very big, successful Labour figure who won three general elections. He talks to Ed regularly and we would be delighted to see him re-engaging in British politics."
Iain Martin wonders in The Daily Telegraph whether Blair might not be elected to a reformed House of Lords. He goes on to suggest that elected Lords might be able to serve as cabinet ministers, adding: "Are we then that far away from a day in which once again a Prime Minister hails from the Lords rather than the Commons?"
It is left to Donald Macintyre, writing in The Independent, to add a pinch of salt to the rumours. He admits that in February, Ladbrokes cut the odds on Blair becoming the next Labour leader to a "suprisingly short" 25-1. But says: "He would surely be reluctant to abandon the flourishing global corporation... built around the Blair brand."
He continues: "David Lloyd George was talked up during the 20s as a potential second time PM, but it never happened... But Lloyd George remained, as Tony Blair has not, an MP."
Blair became Prime Minister 15 years ago this week, and news of his possible return coupled with this anniversary brought more than scepticism from some.
Former Cabinet Minister Lord Tebbit attacked the former Prime Minister in the Daily Mail, branding his political legacy “debt, war, ignorance, welfare dependency, social division”.