Family denounces daughter who tried to 'blackmail' Blairs

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The Independent Online

The anti-terrorist squad at Scotland Yard contacted Downing Street yesterday and handed over a bulky dossier on a woman accused of "trying to blackmail" the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair.

The anti-terrorist squad at Scotland Yard contacted Downing Street yesterday and handed over a bulky dossier on a woman accused of "trying to blackmail" the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair.

The Independent has learnt the file says that the woman, Oonagh Mary Flynn, is a confidence trickster who has previously posed as the child of Jewish refugees, a British secret agent, a University of Geneva psychologist, a Russian ballerina, a helicopter test pilot and a captain in the United States military. This week, using the alias Nel Lister, she told a High Court judge she was a child-protection officer.

"In fact she is nothing of the kind. She is my daughter," said Bill Flynn, a former court official of Merseyside. "All her life she has been involved in a succession of scams, frauds, deceptions, lies and forgeries. If only Downing Street had checked with Scotland Yard."

Ms Flynn, 50, befriended the Blairs' former nanny Rosalind Mark, against whom Mrs Blair won an injunction to stop her revealing her account of life in the Prime Minister's family.

This week the judge granted an additional injunction against Ms Flynn, saying that she had in effect blackmailed Mrs Blair by demanding £40,000 in return for stopping work on a book that alleged child neglect lay behind the "rosy" public version of the Blairs' family life.

When Ms Flynn met Ms Mark she called herself Nel Lister, and claimed to have had a child by Captain Robert Nairac, the SAS officer killed by the IRA in the Seventies. She told journalists that she had been beaten up by British secret service officers to prevent her telling the truth about Nairac's death.

But her sister, Kate Flynn, said the whole story was made up after Ms Flynn read a book about Capt Nairac. "She has an amazing ability to suck up information, reformulate it and project it back to people.

"Suddenly she entered into the Nairac world, even though throughout the period covered in the book she had actually been in Warrington, not Northern Ireland," she said.

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