Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, a former British Labour Party politician, assumed the seat of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in May 1997, as the youngest prime minster to serve since the 1800’s. When he resigned in 2007, he had become the longest serving prime minister in the UK in 100 years. Tony Blair was also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007.
Under his leadership, the party adopted the term “New Labour” and moved away from its traditional left wing position towards the centre ground. Blair subsequently led Labour to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election. At 43 years old, he became the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812. In the first years of the New Labour government, Blair’s government implemented a number of 1997 manifesto pledges, introducing the minimum wage, Human Rights Act and Freedom of Information Act, and carrying out devolution, establishing the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Blair’s role as Prime Minister was particularly visible in foreign and security policy, including in Northern Ireland, where he was involved in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. From the start of the War on Terror in 2001, Blair strongly supported the foreign policy of US President George W. Bush, notably by participating in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq. 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 consecutive terms more than one of which was at least four years long.
Since leaving Downing Street, Tony Blair has served as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East. He represents the USA, UN, Russia and the EU, working with the Palestinians to prepare for statehood as part of the international community’s effort to secure peace.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation promotes respect and understanding between the major religions and makes the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is a response to these opportunities and challenges pfresented by religion today.
The Africa Governance Initiative delivers projects in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, advising President Kagame, President Koroma and President Johnson-Sirleaf respectively on policy delivery and attracting investment, with a team of his staff working with three governments.
As the first major head of government to bring climate change to the top of the international political agenda at the 2005 Gleneagles G8 summit, Tony Blair now leads the Breaking the Climate Deadlock initiative, working with world leaders to build consensus on a new comprehensive international climate policy framework. In recognition of his debt to the North East of England, he has launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, to increase opportunities for young people to participate in sport.