Statement from the Office of Tony Blair: Sunday Telegraph expenses story

Comment at end

Or –

13th January 2012

It seems the Telegraph has received this statement from Tony Blair’s office. I’m not sure when – today or days ago.  But it is worth noting and keeping an eye out. Let’s see if and when the Telegraph retracts any of its ‘story‘ in the light of this. As soon as I notice they have published an apology I promise I’ll post it here. On that you can really ‘count’!

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Friday, Jan 13, 2012 in Office of Tony Blair

On 8th January, the Sunday Telegraph ran a story under the headline, Tony Blair and the £8million tax ‘mystery’. The following statement from the Office of Tony Blair was sent to the newspaper following publication of that story:

“Even by the standards of the Sunday Telegraph campaign on Tony Blair’s post Prime Minister career, your story was a shocker.

“Mr Blair does not only pay £315,000 in tax. The tax you refer to is not Mr Blair’s personal tax but that of the company through which he administers the costs of his different activities worldwide. There was a surplus in the company at the end of the accounting year of just over £1m. It paid £315,000 tax on this. That has nothing whatever to do with Mr Blair’s income, nor his personal tax, nor the profits or revenues of his business.

“The £12.005m you refer to are not his earnings, nor the earnings from his business. It is the money allocated to cover the costs of administering all the various things he does in the world. So to elide costs with earnings and then use a tax figure that has nothing to do with Mr Blair’s earnings, and implying it is all Mr Blair pays personally in tax is completely misleading.

“For the record, on Mr Blair’s actual earnings he is a 50% top rate taxpayer and his businesses pay full UK corporation tax.

“He also supports, from his earnings, the charities he has established as well as making other donations. There are more than 120 people working on all his activities around the world. He actually spends the majority of his time on unpaid pro bono work in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.”

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Original source – ‘Statement from the Office of Tony Blair on last week’s Sunday Telegraph story’

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Related

Harry Langford also mentions this, and says to his fellow Labour party members:

” Shame on the members of The Labour Party that use false stories put out by The Sunday Telegraph and other papers of a similar political nature to discredit the most successful Labour leader ever.”

Well said, Harry. As I think I may have mentioned before – we should recognise our friends, so that we may better identify our enemies.

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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

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