Tony Blair, president of Europe?

Tony Blair fuelled speculation he might run to become the first full-time European Union president yesterday after a speech in Paris.

Mr Blair said EU countries could achieve more by acting together: "Terrorism, security, immigration, organised crime, energy, the environment, science, biotechnology and higher education: in all these areas, and others, we are much stronger and able to deliver what our citizens expect from us as individual nations if we are part of a strong and united Europe."

He was speaking at the invitation of the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, at a conference of the country's centre-right ruling UMP party.

However, a role as EU president could conflict with the portfolio of advisory roles Mr Blair seems keen to take up. He accepted a job at investment bank JPMorgan last week.