Tony Blair defends 'helpful' Prince Charles
Tony Blair has defended the Prince of Wales as "immensely helpful" after the former prime minister was quoted as saying Charles was "screwing" his government.
According to extracts from Alistair Campbell's diary, published in the Guardian on Saturday, Mr Blair believed the Prince went too far in getting publicly involved in sensitive political issues like fox-hunting and genetically modified foods.
But the former premier stressed today that he "welcomed" the heir to the throne's contributions.
In a letter published in the newspaper, Mr Blair admitted that prime ministers may "sound off from time to time".
But he added: "I want to make it clear that I always found my discussions and correspondence with Prince Charles immensely helpful.
"I thought he had a perfect right to raise questions and did so in an way that was both informative and insightful."
In the extracts, Mr Campbell claimed Mr Blair once said that Charles was "screwing us" by making unhelpful interventions on behalf of farmers during the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis.
The former Downing Street director of communications appeared to suggest that Mr Blair raised his concerns with the Queen during one of his regular audiences, though Mr Campbell noted that he "didn't push too hard".
And Mr Campbell said that, while remaining publicly supportive of the Prince, Mr Blair told Charles in private that there were "limits to the extent to which they could play politics with him".
- 1 Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
- 2 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 3 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 4 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks busy Dublin road
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Edward Heath 'child sex abuse' allegation: Investigation to be held into Wiltshire police handling of alleged claim in the 1990s
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Accessory Fitter required. Bristol
£14000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is very proud of t...
£75000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Head of Sales position is offered on...
£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...