Daily Management Review

Tony Blair: From business to charity


Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he is going to shut down his consulting business Tony Blair Associates and related venture capital structures Firerush and Windrush.

Center for American Progress
Center for American Progress
Statement of the former Prime Minister of Great Britain was seen as a recognition of the fact that commercial activities of his business have been controversial and have repeatedly caused deserved criticism, and that his political and commercial interests, especially in the Middle East, are closely intertwined with each other.

According to The Guardian, almost all funds earned by Tony Blair Associates will go to non-profit activities, and Blair himself is going to devote much of his time to this field. 

"I will keep a small number of consulting projects for income, but 80% of my time will go on unpaid work in the nonprofit sector," - said Blair in a statement on his web site.

During nine years after leaving big politics, Blair created a group of organizations with about 200 people working in more than 20 countries around the world.

The newspaper notes that Mr. Blair has very bad reputation in the UK. He has repeatedly been criticized for the methods by which he earned money, and for his role in the war in Iran of 2003.

A July report of the independent commission on the war in Iraq strongly criticized a decision adopted by the UK Government, and its intelligence. However, the report did not say that Blair lied about presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Stopping of much criticized commercial activities could improve his reputation. In turn, his opponents point out that he has already earned enough, including money received from authoritarian regimes.

His Windrush Ventures works with foreign governments. The company reported a turnover of £ 19.5 million in 2015, profit reached £ 3,5 million. Firerush specialize in public relations of individuals. All the earnings of the companies, that is, £ 8 million, will be donated to charity.

Blair repeatedly confirmed his refusal to join ranks of the super-rich, yet he has earned enough when working as a consultant in an international consulting panel of JP Morgan and Zurich Insurance group.

He also receives money for his performances and lectures.

Blair has repeatedly stated that media are wrong about his capital. Last year, he commented on these rumors: "As for my new life, I can say that rumors about my income are greatly exaggerated."

The former leader of Britain's Tony Blair left office in 2007 and began working in the field of political and financial consulting. From 2011 he was an adviser to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on a "reform program".

According to Daily Telegraph, Blair was to receive about 8 million pounds ($ 10.5 million) for a year working as Nazarbayev’s consultant.

In July, Tony Blair said he takes responsibility for errors with the invasion in Iraq.

This statement has been associated with the report of an independent commission to investigate causes and circumstances of entry of the British troops in the Middle Eastern country 13 years ago.

At the same time, he said he had not misled the cabinet before the invasion. According to Blair, the decision to send British troops to Iraq was made in good faith.

source: theguardian.com, telegraph.co.uk