Blairs' latest policy U-turn: There will be a holiday snap after all

First it was on, then it was off, now it is on again. After another U-turn, Downing Street yesterday announced that Tony Blair and his family would indeed be posing for a summer holiday photograph.

First it was on, then it was off, now it is on again. After another U-turn, Downing Street yesterday announced that Tony Blair and his family would indeed be posing for a summer holiday photograph.

Following consultation with Lord Wakeham, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, the Prime Minister agreed to pose with Cherie, Euan, Nicky, Kathryn and even baby Leo at the start of their break in Italy next week.

Lord Wakeham said that the planned photocall was the "most constructive way to strike the balance between legitimate privacy and legitimate public interest".

The annual event had been called off on Monday after newspapers published pictures of 10-week-old Leo at his christening on Saturday in defiance of a request from No 10.

Relations between the press and Downing Street had plunged to new depths even though the Prime Minister's office failed to follow through with threats to complain formally about the publication of the pictures.

To end the confusion, Lord Wakeham was called in by Mr Blair. In his statement yesterday, it was clear that the former Tory minister had temporarily usurped Alastair Campbell's position as the Prime Minister's press adviser. Lord Wakeham said he would consult with the media as part of a wider review of the whole issue of photographs of Leo, before offering his guidance to Mr Blair.

In the meantime, the Blairs fly out to Tuscany on Saturday and a photocall will be set up early next week, on condition that Fleet Street editors refuse to use pictures taken by the local paparazzi during the holiday. Announcing its decision yesterday, Downing Street said that the Prime Minister and Mrs Blair wanted their children to enjoy as normal an upbringing as possible and to be able to grow up "without the constant glare of the media spotlight".

"However, they also accept that, given the Prime Minister's very high public profile, there is bound to be an interest in his family, particularly since the arrival of the baby," a spokesman said. He added that as more than a year had elapsed since the last pictures of the Blair's three other children were taken, all six of the family, including Euan, 16, Nicky, 14, and Kathryn, 12, will pose for the holiday snaps.

Pictures of Mr Blair resplendent in his blue jeans and open-necked shirt, complete with just a wisp of chest hair, and his brood will be available at a newsagent near you.

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