Tony Blair cancels book signing amid protest threat

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair today cancelled a high-profile signing session of his new memoir in central London amid concerns over planned protests.

The former prime minister was due to attend the flagship Waterstone's store in Piccadilly on Wednesday - where anti-war campaigners had promised a hostile reception.

But he said he did not want to subject the public to the "inevitable hassle" protests would cause or use up police resources keeping order at the event.

Eggs and shoes were hurled by protesters and one attempted to make a citizen's arrest when Mr Blair signed copies of the book - A Journey - in Dublin.

Earlier, Mr Blair said he was considering scrapping Wednesday's planned follow up amid suggestions other groups, including the British National Party could also turn up.

Announcing the decision in a statement today, Mr Blair said he would provide signed copies to the store for those who had planned to attend.

"However, I have decided not to go ahead with the signing as I don't want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protesters.

"I know the Metropolitan Police would, as ever, have done a superb job in managing any disruption but I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book signing.

"I'm really sorry for those - as ever the majority - who would have come to have their books signed by me in person. I hope they understand."