Blair to complain to PCC over baby pictures

Tony Blair was accused of "double standards" by the Tories yesterday after he asked the Press Complaints Commission to look into the decision by national newspapers to publish photographs of his son Leo's christening.

Tony Blair was accused of "double standards" by the Tories yesterday after he asked the Press Complaints Commission to look into the decision by national newspapers to publish photographs of his son Leo's christening.

Peter Ainsworth, the Tory Culture spokesman, said the move would only draw further attention to baby Leo and accused Mr Blair of "exploiting" his family while proclaiming he wanted to maintain their privacy. "The most cynical thing in the world is to use your family to extract the last ounce of publicity," he said. "The photographs were inoffensive, friendly and happy. What we are seeing is an attempt to extract even further value for Mr Blair from the event."

Today Downing Street will write to Lord Wakeham, the chairman of the commission, asking for guidance after most Sunday newspapers published pictures of Mr Blair carrying Leo to the St John Fisher Roman Catholic Church in Sedgefield. Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's official spokesman, said that although the pictures were inoffensive, the Blairs did not want to start an "open season" on photos of their children.

He said the issue had been referred to the commission for guidance. "This is not a formal complaint but we are genuinely seeking their advice on how best to handle a difficult area for the family," he said.

Mr Campbell added: "On the one hand, it was obvious from the number of local people who turned up that this was a happy event in which people wanted to share and the pictures published are perfectly inoffensive.

"On the other hand, the Prime Minister and Mrs Blair are concerned that to give consent to publication on such occasions risks giving open season to the press not just in relation to the baby but their other children too."

Mr Campbell said the Blairs hoped their dilemma could be resolved in a sensible way which allowed their children to enjoy as normal an upbringing as possible in their abnormal circumstances.

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