Jim Pickard Some names that are not in the index of Tony Blair’s book

Here are just a few omissions from A Journey which spring to mind.

1] Cliff Richard

No mention of how the pop singer lent the Blair family his £3m Barbados villa three years in a row. Is this because the former PM wants to downplay his rich friends?(There is a passage in the book where he insists that most of his pals are regular guys rather than super-rich.)

2] Kuwaiti government

There is plenty at the end of the book about Mr Blair’s work in the fields of charity, climate change, faith and the Middle East peace process.

There is zilch about Tony Blair Associates and its paid work advising companies and governments. The index does not list the Kuwaiti government, for which TBA works, nor another client; Mubadala, a company owned by oil-rich Abu Dhabi.

3] Bernard Arnault

No mention of the French billionaire owner of the LVMH luxury goods chain. This is despite the Blairs having stayed on Mr Arnault’s yacht, Amadeus, in September 2007 soon after leaving Downing St. They also stayed on an Arnault yacht after the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Euan Blair stayed in an apartment paid for by Mr Arnault while working as an intern at a Paris-based radio station. His younger brother Nicky did work experience at the HQ of Krug, an LVMH brand, in Reims. Meanwhile sister Kathryn stayed at an Arnault mansion in Paris while she studied at the Sorbonne in 2007.

4] UI Energy Corporation.

This is a South Korean energy company which has paid Mr Blair for advisory work. The former prime minister insisted that the deal had to be kept secret because of “market sensitivities”. So although the contract was carried out in August 2008 it did not appear for over a year in the official records.

5] JP Morgan.

Tony Blair Associates is paid by JP Morgan for advisory services but is not listed in the index (although Sally Morgan and Rhodri Morgan are). Blair does not discuss what work he does for the US bank. However, his JP Morgan role has taken him to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, on more than one occasion.

6] Zurich Financial.

Tony Blair Associates is paid by Zurich Financial for advisory services but the company is not listed in the index of “A Journey”.

7] EU Presidency.

Last autumn Mr Blair let it be known that he was interested in the new job of EU president, effectively the figurehead for the entire EU around the world. In the end he pulled out, leaving the field open for the much more obscure Herman Van Rumpuy. Why? We are simply not told.


Several readers have pointed me towards an article by Fraser Nelson at the Spectator, published today, which also points out that Blair is very cagey about talking about his financial interests. It’s a great read.

And here is the original Inside Blair Inc, written by Alex Barker, myself and a team of FT reporters, which came out just under a year ago.