General Election 2015

Former PM Tony Blair supports Labour campaign and attacks conservatives over EU referendum

Tony Blair has joined the Labour campaign today and has attacked David Cameron over EU referendum.

Tony Blair has attacked the Conservatives over EU referendum. Image: ITV news.

Tony Blair has attacked the Conservatives over EU referendum. Image: ITV news.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has attacked David Cameron for supporting an in-out EU referendum when he doesn’t believe the UK should leave the EU.

He was speaking in his former constituency of Sedgefield in County Durham.

He said that a vote for EU exit would leave chaos:

The case for Britain staying in Europe is about more than business. It is also about Britain’s role as a global player. A decision to quit Europe would say a lot about us and none of it good.

Mr Blair has also shown his support for Ed Miliband:

I want Labour, under Ed Miliband’s leadership, to be the Government of our country on May 8th. I believe we can and will do it.

Mr Blair’s comments have generated a lot of reaction from all corners of the political spectrum.

David Cameron has accused Tony Blair of not trusting the British people.

I think Tony Blair is wrong. I want changes in Europe but then, unlike Tony Blair, I will trust the people in an in-out referendum.

We should ask people if they want to stay a member of this organisation. You cannot ignore the will of the people as Tony Blair thinks we should – and it is not just him, it is Ed Miliband.

Later Mr Blair has responded to David Cameron’s comments about his speech:

I think he has missed the point as I would ask him why does he want to put at risk Britain’s membership of Europe at this moment.

It’s my view that it’s extraordinary that he should want such a referendum unless he believes it’s right for Britain to go.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has taken to Twitter to express his disagreement with Mr Blair.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has agreed with Mr Blair saying:

His comments on Cameron’s position on Europe are quite right. Cameron has no intention of leaving the EU.

But he’s also attacked the former Prime Minister:

Blair was PM when the government promised a referendum on the EU constitution before the name of that was changed to the ‘Lisbon Treaty’ and he cynically withdrew his offer.

Blair was also an enthusiast for British membership of the Eurozone and had personal ambitions to become ‘President of Europe,’ and how has that worked out for Europe and him?
It is no surprise to see him pat Miliband on the back for signing up to the corporatist EU agenda.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has agreed with Tony Blair over Europe in a press conference in London.

Image: ITV News.

Nick Clegg agrees with Tony Blair’s comments. Image: ITV News.

The only thing Tony Blair is likely to omit to point out is that the only reason that the country has remained anchored in the centre ground and anchored in Europe – rather than allowing the swivel-eyed brigade on the Conservative Party backbenches to take over completely – is because the Liberal Democrats have been in office.

The mind boggles to imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t been around to act as a bulwark and say we are not going to allow internal Tory Party tensions to disfigure the national interest.

Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May has told BBC News that Labour’s decision to deploy Tony Blair is a sign of Ed Miliband’s ‘weakness.’

I think in a sense the most interesting aspect of Blair’s intervention is the very fact that he has intervened. I think it shows the weakness of Ed Miliband that the Labour Party has had to bring him into the fray at this point.

Tony Blair not that many weeks ago was complaining about where Ed Miliband was taking the Labour Party and now he has come in in this sense.

Chancellor George Osborne said Mr Blair would do the minimum asked of him during the election campaign to avoid being blamed if Labour are defeated.

By refusing to appear alongside the Labour leader and indeed putting himself on the other end of the country, advertising the fact that he thinks the Labour leader is weak.

Mr Blair has responded to a similar question from journalists saying that Labour was a party that could do more than one thing at once.

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