European election results 2014: Tony Blair says party leaders who aren't afraid of the rise of Ukip are 'foolish'

The former Labour Prime Minister made the remarks on Swedish television

Party leaders who are not worried about the rise of Ukip in Britain are “foolish”, Tony Blair has said.

The former Prime Minister made no mention of Labour's performance or the response of Ed Miliband to the results, in remarks he made to Swedish television reported by his office.

"Of course we should be worried when a party like Ukip comes first in the European election, it would be foolish not to be,” Mr Blair said. “But on the other hand we also have to stand for what is correct and right for the future of Britain in the 21st century.”

Mr Blair added that there was a “major issue” with the way Europe worked and said pro-Europeans had to take on board the message sent by voters.

"When the world is changing so fast, to end up having the debate dominated by anti-immigrant feeling and a desire to get Britain out of Europe, these are not solutions for the 21st century,” he said.

 

“We have got to be strong enough to show the leadership, to take on this wave of anti-immigration and old-fashioned ultra-nationalist feeling which isn't the future, has nothing to offer people and is no real response to the challenges of the 21st century”.

The former Labour Prime Minister added: “It's a balance, it's a balance in which we need both the courage to reform and the courage to lead."

Additional reporting by PA

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