Tony Blair calls for new leadership from ‘strong progressive centre’

Tony Blair

Tony Blair has called for new political leadership from the “strong progressive centre” and confirmed his institute is developing a raft of policies to encourage such leaders.

The former prime minister insisted he had not given up on Labour despite his concerns of it being “in the grip of the hard left”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he admitted he was trying re-energise the centre ground of British politics, which he claimed was being abandoned by the two main parties.

“If you leave between the Brexit-dominated Tory party and a hard-left Labour party vast uncultivated centre ground, at some point someone is going to come along and cultivate it,” he said.

At the weekend the Observer revealed that plans for a new centrist party had attracted £50m of investment. Blair denied trying to form a new party, saying: “I’m not advocating it or involved in such a one or certainly not running for its leadership at this or any stage.”

But he said such a plan should not be derided by the established parties. “What is most sensible is for both of the main parties to realise they can pour scorn on people who are thinking of these things, but ultimately they’ve got to understand there is a constituency in this country which is socially liberal, in favour of strong methods of social justice, but…

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