Tony Blair's office deny claims he failed to appear at hunger conference because of dispute over his '£330,000 fee'

Spokesperson says the former PM had 'prior commitments'

Adam Withnall
Monday 01 June 2015 10:51
Comments

Tony Blair’s office has denied reports that plans for him to speak at the world hunger forum beginning this week in Stockholm fell down over his £330,000 fee.

The conference, organised by the food company Eat, booked former US president Bill Clinton to speak last year for £327,000, but according to a “source” baulked at the idea of paying the former British prime minister a similar fee.

According to the Mail, Mr Blair was approached by the Kruger Cowne talent agency with the suggestion that he speak in exchange for a large donation to the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, but after months of talks Eat dropped out due to the fee involved.

“Blair is just not Clinton, and even his star power is fast diminishing,” the source reportedly said. Eat’s executive producer Odd Arvid Stromstad told the paper the fee was “quite high, so we didn’t want to go into it”.

In a statement, Mr Blair’s office said there had been no negotiations over “the amount of money he would be earning” because “he would not have earned anything” from the appearance.

“[Krugar Cowne] approached the foundation out of the blue, representing Eat… and asked if Mr Blair would give the keynote speech in exchange for a donation to the foundation.”

The statement denied Stromstad’s claim that talks broke down over the fee, saying: “Mr Blair was unable to [attend] because prior commitments meant it would be logistically impossible.”

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