Cherie Blair to earn £100,000 from cancer charity fund-raising tour

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Cherie Blair was accused last night of "trading on her husband's name" after it was reported that she stood to earn a six-figure sum from a charity fund-raising tour of Australia.

Cherie Blair was accused last night of "trading on her husband's name" after it was reported that she stood to earn a six-figure sum from a charity fund-raising tour of Australia.

Mrs Blair is reportedly set to receive up to £100,000, in addition to the use of a Jaguar courtesy car and free flights and accommodation, for speaking at a series of gala dinners to raise money for a children's cancer charity.

The five city tour, which begins on 8 February, has been organised by the publicity company Markson Sparks, which has previously arranged fundraising appearances by Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and the former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Publicity for the dinners state that 100 per cent of the profit goes to Children's Cancer Institute, a research body. But of the estimated £400,000 raised by her speaking tour only a quarter will go to the charity, with more than £200,000 being split between Mrs Blair and Markson Sparks, according to a "draft budget" reported in the Sunday Times.

Markson Sparks will receive £110,000 while another £100,000 is earmarked as "Mrs Blair's fee" . Tickets for the charity dinners start at £75 with a VIP table for 10 including pre-dinner cocktails and a "photo-opportunity" with Mrs Blair costing £4,100. Markson Sparks, which has been criticised in the past for the fees paid to its high-profile speakers, said the figures were "false and wrong".

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker called on Mrs Blair, an active supporter of cancer charities and a patron of Breast Cancer Care in the UK, to reveal how much she was being paid for the trip. "She is clearly trading on her husband's name, which makes this a political issue," he said. A spokesman for No 10 declined to comment last night on the claims about Mrs Blair's trip.

Comments