Ex-Brit PM Blair to advise foreign governments on `good governance”

February 28th, 2009 - 5:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, Feb.28 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has set up a company that will advise governments on ”good governance”.
According to his spokesman, Tony Blair Associates, as the commercial partnership is called, has already signed up its first client, the Government of Kuwait, which is understood to have agreed a seven-figure deal for continuing advice from the former Prime Minister.
Blair is counselling the constitutional monarchy of the oil-rich state on “good governance”, according to his spokesman.
Critics, however, are likely to point out that Blair has no business dispatching advice on good governance because of his own questionable probity whilst in power.
Tony Blair Associates was set up earlier this month after Blair received the blessing of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), the government watchdog that scrutinizes the paid employment of former ministers.
ACOBA said in a statement that Blair would provide, “in partnership with others, strategic advice on both a commercial and pro-bono basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform”.
It added that the committee “sees no reason why he should not set up the firm forthwith”.
Blair is running his new consultancy from his extensive suite of offices in Grosvenor Square, central London, where he now employs 70 people to run his different ventures, including his private office, a religious charity and an Africa foundation.
His earnings from consultancy work will add to the 4.6 million pound advance he was paid for his memoirs, 2.5 million pounds from advisory roles with JP Morgan Chase and Zurich Financial Services and speaking fees of around 157,000 pounds per lecture, reports The Telegraph.
Blair also receives a taxpayer-funded pension of 63,468 pounds per year, plus an annual 84,000 pounds allowance to run his private office.
Sources close to Blair have disclosed that he has finally begun work on his memoirs, more than a year after negotiating his advance, and has so far written four chapters.
He is hoping to have the book ready before the next general election, when it will be published if the Conservatives win power.
Blair has previously said that he would not publish his book while Gordon Brown was still in power, but with Brown trailing in the opinion polls Blair, 55, wants to be ready to cash in on a Tory win.
Blair’’s considerable earning power which has outstripped that of former US President Bill Clinton has enabled him to buy a string of luxurious homes, including a 5.75 million pound country house in Buckinghamshire, a 4.8 million pound home in Connaught Square, central London, a flat in Bristol and a 460,000 pound flat in Islington for his eldest son, Euan. (ANI)

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