Tony Blair book launch party cancelled
Wednesday 08 September 2010
A party to mark the launch of Tony Blair's new book tonight, which would have attracted protests from anti-war campaigners, has been called off, it was revealed today.
Guests invited to the event, at the Tate Modern museum in Central London, have been told that it has been postponed, said a spokeswoman for the book's publishers, Random House.
It is the second time the former prime minister has called off an event after he cancelled a signing session of his memoir, due to be held at the Waterstone's book store in London's Piccadilly today.
After cancelling the book signing the ex-premier said he did not want to subject the public to the "inevitable hassle" protests would cause or use up police resources keeping order at the event.
Campaigners against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had planned to demonstrate outside Tate Modern and criticised the museum for allowing the party to be held there.
Eggs and shoes were hurled by protesters and one attempted to make a citizen's arrest when Mr Blair signed copies of the book, A Journey, in Dublin last weekend.
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, who had planned to protest outside the Tate Modern gallery tonight, said it was a "big victory" for the anti-war movement.
"It shows he is running scared. The people who say we should not protest are denying us the right to persist in asking questions about the war and denying the rights of Iraqis who are still suffering because of Blair's policies."
Mr Blair told ITV1's This Morning: "It is sad in a way because you should have the right to sign books or see your friends if you want to.
"But it was going to cause so much hassle. The people at the party tonight are friends - and some of them are not political at all.
"I don't mind going through protesters - I have lived with that all my political life. But for other people it can be a bit unpleasant and frightening."
The party would go ahead at some stage as a thank-you to the people who had helped produce the memoir, he said.
Mr Blair said he and Gordon Brown had not been in contact since the publication of the book - which contained many criticisms of his successor.
"But we will," he added.
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bruce Forsyth backs assisted dying campaign: 'If I had Alzheimer's or dementia I would do something about it'
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate