Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has returned to frontline British politics as a sports advisor to Labour party chief Ed Miliband, but will not take a formal post.
Tony Blair will miss the opportunity to be in the shadow cabinet nor he will have a defined role in the party, but Miliband is seeking to use Blair’s experience both in leading Britain and as a Middle East envoy, in the run-up to the next general elections, British media reported.
Blair recently returned to British politics by accepting a role as an “Olympic legacy adviser” for Labour and appearing at both a £500-a-head dinner with Ed Miliband at Arsenal Football Club and a reception for Keith Vaz, the Labour MP.
Asked recently if he would do another term as prime minister if it was offered he replied: “Yes, sure, but it is not likely to happen is it?
"What I can do is contribute to the debate, whether it is Europe or the Arab Spring or areas to do with economy and public service reform here.”
A source close to Ed Miliband said it was important to respect Blair’s achievements in winning three successive general elections for the party and broadening Labour’s support.
But, the former premier is being viewed by other leading opposition figures as toxic - because of his Iraq War legacy and the controversy over his earnings, which are understood to be around £20million a year.
He earns about £2.5million a year as an adviser to the US investment bank JP Morgan, a lesser sum for a similar role with Zurich insurance group and up to £200,000 a time for speeches.
His financial advisory service, Tony Blair Associates, has deals with the oil and gas-rich governments of Kazakhstan and Kuwait and sovereign wealth funds in Abu Dhabi and China.
Labour has been enjoying double-figure opinion poll leads in the last few weeks as the Conservatives, in particular, have been hit by a series of political crises and Cameron has faced rumblings over his leadership.