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Tony Blair
1997-2007
LABOUR


The Rt. Hon. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was Labour Member of Parliament for Sedgefield and Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons until the May 1, 1997 elections, at which time, as head of the new majority party, he became Prime Minister.

Blair was born in Edinburgh on 6 May 1953 and educated at Durham Choristers School, Fettes College, Edinburgh, and at St John's College, Oxford, where he studied law. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1976 and practised as a barrister until 1983, specializing in employment and industrial law.

Mr. Blair was elected MP for his present constituency in 1983. In 1985, he was promoted to the opposition front bench as a spokesman on Treasury affairs and in 1987 was made deputy spokesman on Trade and Industry, with special responsibility for consumer affairs and the City.

He was elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 1988 and became Shadow Secretary of State for Energy, leading the Labour Party's opposition to electricity privatisation. In 1989, he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Employment ,in which post he argued for a positive framework of trade union rights. In 1992, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs.

Blair was elected to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party in September, 1992. He has chaired the Party's Commission for Constitutional Reform and has been active in developing the Party's positive approach towards the European Union, while at the same time establishing a close relationship with the Clinton administration in the United States.

He was elected Leader of the Labour Party in July, 1994, following the death of the Rt. Hon. John Smith, MP, and was made a Privy Counsellor in the same month.

In May 2006, The Daily Telegraph reported that Blair's personal approval rating had dipped to 26% meaning Blair had become the most unpopular post-war Labour Prime Minister. Tony Blair has been criticised for his alliance with U.S. President George W. Bush and his policies in the Middle East, including the Iraq War, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Blair is also criticised for an alleged tendency to spin important information in a way that can be misleading. Critics also regard Tony Blair as having eroded civil liberties and increased social authoritarianism, by increasing police powers.

Blair is the Labour Party's longest-serving Prime Minister, the only person to have led the Labour Party to three consecutive general election victories, and the only Labour Prime Minister to serve more than one full consecutive term. He was replaced as Leader of the Labour Party on 24 June 2007 and resigned as Prime Minister 27 June 2007. Gordon Brown, Blair's Chancellor of the Exchequer during his entire ten years in office, succeeded him as Prime Minister.

Mr. Blair and his wife, Cherie (Booth), whom he married in 1980, have three sons (Euan, 19 January 1984, Nicky, 6 December 1985 and Leo, 20 May, 2000) and a daughter (Kathryn, 2 March 1988). Mrs. Blair is a barrister.




 Perspective

2000 - The New Millennium arrives.
George W. Bush is elected president.
2001 - Sept. 11th. The World Trade Towers in New York City are destroyed by commercial airliners hijacked by terrorists. The US and an international coalition of forces, fully supported by Tony Blair, attack Afghanistan, toppling the Taliban and liberating the country. Osama Bin Laden is the world's most wanted man.

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