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Ex-UK PM, ministers barred from using embassies for benefit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This undated AFP photo shows former UK PM Tony Blair.

The UK Foreign Office has banned former prime ministers including Tony Blair as well as ex-ministers from using British embassy resources for free to help promote their commercial work.

The Foreign Office said in a statement, “Our embassies no longer provide any assistance for visits of former prime ministers and former ministers, unless the visits support UK government objectives.

“Former prime ministers and former ministers who want support as representatives of UK business must now make their requests through the same process that all companies follow.”

This follows reports that Blair had stayed twice at the residence of the UK ambassador to the US in 2010.

The former prime minister also allegedly stayed at the UK ambassador’s residence in Paris, France, between 2008 and 2011 at taxpayers’ expense, according to the Guardian.  

On each visit, Blair was accompanied by up to six people, excluding his security team, and his party was not charged for their stays.

The Daily Telegraph previously reported that Blair had been put up at the British ambassador’s official residence in Manila, on a trip to the Philippines during which he was paid almost £400,000 for two speeches.

He had also stayed at the UK embassy in Tripoli when meeting Muammar Gaddafi, the then Libyan dictator, on private business, the report added.


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