Gordon Brown pushed Tony Blair to quit, says wife Cherie

May 10th, 2008 - 11:55 am ICT by admin  

London, May 10 (ANI): Gordon Brown hounded Tony Blair out of office, the latters wife, Cherie, has dramatically claimed in her autobiography, serialised versions of which will start appearing in The Sun from today. Cherie Blair accuses Brown of “rattling the keys above his head” as far back as April 2004.
Cherie says she fought to stop Tony from standing down, but admitted that the two are now once again on talking terms.
“I thought he (Brown) was putting too much pressure on Tony to leave when Tony wasnt ready,” the tabloid quotes her, as saying.
According to The Telegraph though, Tony would have handed power to Gordon Brown before the 2005 General Election if the then Chancellor had agreed to push ahead with Blairs reforms.
Cheire Blair argues that her husband should still have been the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and tells how Tony Blair had a crisis of confidence over the Iraq war and feared that he had become an electoral liability.
Mrs Blair makes the revelations in extracts from her memoirs, Speaking for Myself, which are serialised today.
The extracts are expected to infuriate Brown who has already seen his authority diminish following the recent Labour meltdown in the local elections.
The former first lady also says that her husband is now informally advising Brown on how to win back support.
Blair is said to have been concerned that Brown would not back key policies on city academies, foundation hospitals and pension reform if he had taken over before last year.
Cherie Blair, a successful barrister, has had a rocky relationship with Brown and she apparently was persuaded to tone down her autobiography by her husband.
She has brought forward the release of extracts of her memoirs which were not due to be published until October prompting speculation that she is trying to deepen Browns current problems.
However, Mrs. Blair insists that she takes no pleasure from Browns current difficulties. But she does disclose that Gordons impatience to take over from Mr Blair was a problem that he could have done without.
Mrs Blair added that there was no deal struck in an Islington restaurant in 1994 for Mr Brown to take over from her husband as has been reported..
The book also dismisses recent speculation that Mr Blair does not believe that Mr Brown can beat David Cameron.
It is understood that Cherie Blair is receiving a six-figure sum for the interview and serialisation deal with two Rupert Murdoch titles that includes many anecdotes about her decade in Downing Street.
Since leaving office last June, Tony Blair is estimated to have earned about 10 million pounds, even though his role as a Middle East peace envoy is unpaid.
He has received an advance of almost five million pounds for his memoirs and will be paid a reported two million pounds a year as an adviser to Zurich, a Swiss-based financial company.
J P Morgan, the US bank, has also signed him up in a part-time post that could bring him a further two million pounds a year. (ANI)

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