How to get invited to No 10: Ignore Blair on Tube

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The Independent Online
WHEN A stranger sat next to Georgina Leketi-Solomon on the Tube and started talking to her she did what every sensible commuter does, and ignored him. Unfortunately for Ms Leketi-Solomon the stranger was the Prime Minister and his embarrassment was captured by the press.

Yesterday Downing Street attempted to turn the PR gaffe into a success when Ms Leketi-Solomon was invited to Number 10 for a natter with Tony Blair and a tour of Britain's most famous address after the "misunderstanding" on the new Jubilee line extension last Tuesday.

She had been minding her own business on the way to work when Mr Blair sat down next to her and tried to strike up a conversation. Attendant press photographers pictured her apparently ignoring his friendly advances, staring straight ahead and listening to her personal stereo. A call from her employers, accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, alerted Downing Street to her identity. The Prime Minister's aides promptly issued an invitation to have another go at the ill-fated conversation.

After yesterday's meeting Miss Leketi-Solomon said she had not intended to be rude to the PM and denied that she had failed to recognise him. But she added that at that time of day she was in no mood for anything more taxing than listening to Whitney Houston's latest album.

"I did realise it was him, but it all seemed a bit overwhelming at quarter past nine in the morning. It's not exactly what you expect on the way to work," she said. "I'm always the same in the mornings, I put my Walkman on and turn off." She also hoped that this will bring an end to the ribbing she had endured from friends since the incident. "They have all been teasing me, telling me I shouldn't talk to strange men," she said.

Tony and Cherie Blair willlodge a formal complaint over the publication of a picture showing their eldest son in a London nightclub, Downing Street said yesterday. The Daily Sport printed a photograph of Euan, 15, at the Mistletoe Ball at the Ministry of Sound nightclub earlier this week.

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