Tony Blair book launch party cancelled

A party to mark the launch of Tony Blair's new book tonight, which would have attracted protests from anti-war campaigners, has been called off, it was revealed today.

Guests invited to the event, at the Tate Modern museum in Central London, have been told that it has been postponed, said a spokeswoman for the book's publishers, Random House.

It is the second time the former prime minister has called off an event after he cancelled a signing session of his memoir, due to be held at the Waterstone's book store in London's Piccadilly today.

After cancelling the book signing the ex-premier 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.

Campaigners against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had planned to demonstrate outside Tate Modern and criticised the museum for allowing the party to be held there.

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 last weekend.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, who had planned to protest outside the Tate Modern gallery tonight, said it was a "big victory" for the anti-war movement.

"It shows he is running scared. The people who say we should not protest are denying us the right to persist in asking questions about the war and denying the rights of Iraqis who are still suffering because of Blair's policies."

Mr Blair told ITV1's This Morning: "It is sad in a way because you should have the right to sign books or see your friends if you want to.

"But it was going to cause so much hassle. The people at the party tonight are friends - and some of them are not political at all.

"I don't mind going through protesters - I have lived with that all my political life. But for other people it can be a bit unpleasant and frightening."

The party would go ahead at some stage as a thank-you to the people who had helped produce the memoir, he said.

Mr Blair said he and Gordon Brown had not been in contact since the publication of the book - which contained many criticisms of his successor.

"But we will," he added.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in