Tony Blair gives cash for Sedgefield Labour Party bash

TONY Blair has shown his rise to riches has not changed him after handing his old constituency party in the North East nearly £6,000.

TONY Blair has shown his rise to riches has not changed him after handing his old constituency party in the North East nearly £6,000.

The former PM has earned, by some estimates, more than £20m in the last year, thanks to his profitable work advising bankers and world leaders.

Yet when it came to Sedgefield Labour Party’s 30th anniversary bash, the man who once served the voters there was not shy in helping out.

Offering to sponsor the celebration, Mr Blair handed over a £5,770 cheque for the event. House of Commons records show the former MP did so as a private donor, and not through one of his many business interests.

Phil Wilson, the man who took over as the Sedgefield MP, said sadly Mr Blair could not attend the event as his father had passed away.

He said: “Tony was going to be there for the anniversary, but obviously, and very sadly, this could not happen.

“But more generally Tony still has a lot to do with us, he stands by us and we speak every so often, we exchange texts and so on. He’s there if we need him and we appreciate that.”

Earlier last year Mr Blair had to state publicly he paid income tax at the 50% rate amid questions over his various earnings. The House of Commons register of members’ interests also revealed David Miliband continues to earn significant sums for his speeches and advice.

The South Shields MP came second behind former PM Gordon Brown for the amount received from Arab states.

Former Foreign Secretary Mr Miliband was paid more than £138,000 for advising the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He was also paid £15,000 for advising agricultural-based private equity firm Indus Basin Holdings in Pakistan. The MP also saw his travel costs worth £4,942 paid.

Mr Miliband declared a shareholding in the firm earlier this year.

The MP’s work for Sunderland AFC also continues to earn him a healthy income. The most recent record for his vice-chairman role shows he was paid in October £25,000 for work totalling two days.

Similarly, he received payment of £12,000 for work totalling one day when he carried out further work as a senior global adviser for global strategy firm Oxford Analytica.

Mr Miliband has always insisted his outside interest come second to his role as an MP and any work is fitted around his role both in Parliament and his constituency.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
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Stuart Rayner
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