Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is returning to politics to fight Brexit during the June 8 general election and is ready to get his “hands dirty”. The 63-year-old former Labour party leader, however, made it clear that he will not be contesting the June 8 general election, according to Daily Mirror newspaper. He said he wants to have an influence on the negotiations of Britain’s exit from the 28-member European Union (EU).
Blair said he does not agree with Prime Minister Theresa May’s intention to leave the single market and seek out a free trade agreement, which would be “relegating” Britain from the top spot. Blair, who won the 1997 general election in a landslide but faced severe criticism over his decision to join the US- led attack on Iraq, said that he knows he would face criticism for plunging back into politics.
Blair, who had withdrawn from active British politics since he exited Downing Street in 2007, said he is ready to get his hands dirty. “This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in the politics. You need to get your hands dirty and I will. I know the moment I stick my head out the door I’ll get a bucket of ‘wotsit’ poured all over me, but I really do feel passionate about this,” he was quoted by the newspaper.
“I don’t want to be in the situation where we pass through this moment of history and I hadn’t said anything because that would mean I didn’t care about this country. I do. I am not sure I can turn something into a political movement but I think there is a body of ideas out there people would support,” he added.
Blair, who led Labour to three consecutive general election wins over the Tories, said his desire to re-involve himself in national politics was not just motivated by Brexit. He said: “We live in a world defined by change. There are cultural stresses, people are worried about immigration, the way their communities have changed, economic stresses, people are worried about the quality of their job… whether they will have a job”.