Blair had a Jesus complex, says his former chief of staff

Tony Blair had a "Jesus complex" which led him to believe his presence was essential at key moments on the world stage, one of his closest confidants has admitted. Jonathan Powell, the former PM's chief of staff for 12 years, said Mr Blair displayed a missionary zeal when dealing with the Northern Ireland peace talks.

In his book Great Hatred, Little Room: Making Peace in Northern Ireland, Mr Powell recalls June 1998: "Tony told me he wanted to go over to Northern Ireland to sort the problem out. When I told Mo [Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland], she said it was part of his 'Jesus complex': a belief that his personal presence could resolve problems. I suspected she had a point but, nevertheless, after Cabinet on 2 July, we flew over."

Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle said he agreed: "I don't know whether I would use the phrase 'Jesus complex', but he certainly believed he could persuade anybody of anything."

A spokesman for Mr Blair declined to comment.

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