Tony Blair has revealed he is to return to politics 20 years after beating John Major to Downing Street and has vowed to get his hands dirty as he looks to shake up the Brexit deal.
The former prime minister has been away from politics for a decade, but said the decision to leave the European Union has motivated him to get back in the game.
Despite he lingering anger over his decision to send troops to Iraq during his tenure, he wants to be involved in policy-making in the country.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waits to deliver a keynote speech at a pro-EU event on February 17, 2017 in London
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, he said: ‘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.’
Talking of Brexit, he likened the single market to the Champions League of trading agreements, while a free trade agreement would be the equivalent to League One.
At the moment, he is working seven days a week for a charitable foundation, and despite insisting he doesn’t want to run for parliament, he said: ‘I am going to be taking an active part in trying to shape the policy debate and that means getting out into the country and reconnecting.’
He thinks the views he holds is enough to bring like-minded people together, but he is under no illusions about the reception he is likely to receive.
‘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 told the Mirror.
Tony Blair poses with his wife Cherie outside 10 Downing Street on May 2, 1997, following his nomination as Prime Minister and the Labour party’s landslide general election victory over the Conservatives who had ruled for 18 years
With his former party in decline – according to some – under Jeremy Corbyn, a divisive character like Blair returning to politics could derail the party’s chances in the upcoming general election.
But the 63-year-old said he thinks his presence and the negativity around his legacy is over-stated.
With 52 percent of the population having voted to leave the EU, Blair admitted he did not want to ‘defy the will of the people’.
But he did say: ‘It is saying the will of the people may change when they see the final deal.’
Blair also admitted feeling sad when he thought about how he was considered toxic by so many.
Yesterday, Tony Blair accused Jeremy Corbyn today of not wanting to win power – as he complained that Labour has been obsessed with ‘trashing’ his record.
The former PM made clear his disdain for the ‘hard left’ platform the party has adopted as he warned it can only form a majority government by returning to the centre ground.
He said the party had to ‘decide’ that it wants to become a realistic electoral force.