Tony Blair rules out return to frontline politics because media would ‘move to destroy mode’

The former Prime Minister also repeated his assertion that Brexit can be stopped 'if the British people decide that'

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair has ruled out a return to the frontline of British politics because elements of the media would “move to destroy mode”.

In a wide-ranging interview the former Labour Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007 also repeated his assertion that Brexit can be stopped “if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up.”

He added: “But this is what I keep saying to people. This is like agreeing to a house swap without having seen the other house . . . You’ve got to understand, this has been driven essentially ideologically.”

His comments come following months of speculation that the former Labour Prime Minister would make a comeback after he closed down his advisory firm Tony Blair Associates.

Asked whether Theresa May agreed with Mr Blair's assessment that Brexit could be stopped, the Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said: "The PM has been very clear we are leaving the EU – that’s the decision of the British people.

"There’s not going to be any change from that position, we are taking it forward, we will trigger Article 50 and leave the EU."

In the interview with the New Statesman, Mr Blair, now 63, added he would attempt to create a space for political debate about “where western democracies go and where progressive forces particularly find their place”.

He added: “I can't come into frontline politics. There's just too much hostility, and also there are elements of the media who would literally move to destroy mode if I tried to do that.”

The former Prime Minister also used the interview to cast aside allegations that he had described Theresa May as a “lightweight” and Jeremy Corbyn as a “nutter”.

“I didn't call her that (a lightweight),” he said. “This is completely not my view, by the way. I would not be rude and disrespectful in that way. I've not said that about her, I don't think that about her.”

“I did not call Jeremy Corbyn ‘a nutter’. I don’t think he’s a nutter. I just think he is someone on the far left of politics and he’s been consistent for the last 35 years that I’ve known him, which is fine. I don’t think that’s an unprincipled position. I just don’t think it’s a position that is either correct or one from which he can win an election. But I may be wrong, so let’s wait and see.