Labour and Tory majority governments are a ‘risk to UK’, claims Tony Blair

Tony Blair gives a speech ahead of the general election. Photograph: Twitter.

Tony Blair gives a speech ahead of the general election. Photograph: Twitter. - Credit: Archant

Former prime minister Tony Blair has warned both Labour and Tory majority governments are a risk to the UK.

Blair, speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event, said both wins for Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson will not be a "good thing".

"Both as majority governments pose a risk. It's just that the chances I think of Labour doing that are - if the polls are right - negligible."

He said: "I don't think a majority government of either side is a good thing," adding: "This is why I'm saying you have to unpick the knot and what people are thinking at the moment is if you pull the string hard enough you'll untie the knot, but you won't.

"We have got to decide Brexit on its merits and then you've got to decide who runs the country on its merits."

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Blair said while Labour's manifesto aims were good, it would be "difficult" to achieve.

"Some of the things that underline the policy commitments, to tackle poverty, to tackle inequality, I mean this should definitely be the agenda of any modern government.

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"The problem is if you try unreconstructed, and at one time, to do all of those things listed in the manifesto it would be difficult."

He said he would still vote Labour, but could understand why people would also consider the Liberal Democrats.

He explained: "I've said why I've got to vote Labour because for one thing, by the way, there will be an enormous debate coming, I feel, in the Labour Party at a certain point," adding: "I'm in a particular position, there's one of me. But I can understand why the people I know in the same constituency as me who will be voting for Chuka Umunna."

He continued: "There will be constituencies in which the Labour Party has no chance of winning and in those constituencies - if I wasn't me as it were and I was just an ordinary or a floating voter - in those constituencies yeah I'd want to."

He also branded the Tories' plan to deliver Brexit a "fantasy" and said he would not trust Boris Johnson with a blank cheque and said the state of British politics is "utterly dysfunctional".

"The Conservative Party say vote Tory and Brexit will be done, it will be over.

"They even add - do it and we can get back to dealing with the important issues.

"The cheek is quite breath-taking. So, having visited this debacle upon us, which has distracted us from those big issues for over three years, they now use the distraction as a reason for doing Brexit, not abandoning it.

"But it appeals. It is, however, a fantasy. Brexit isn't over on 12 December, nor even on 31 January next year. We immediately begin the new phase of Brexit negotiation."

He added: "The Conservatives calculate that they can force people to elect them, despite worry over Brexit, because Jeremy Corbyn is the alternative.

"The Labour Party leadership calculate they can combine traditional Labour support around issues like the NHS, with Remain voters who hate Brexit, despite fear about the Labour leader.

"In other words, both parties want to win on the basis that whatever your dislike of what they're offering, the alternative is worse."

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