Blairs may be forced to sell their Bristol flats

By Andy McSmith
Sunday 08 December 2002 01:00

Cherie and Tony Blair face having to sell the two flats in Bristol which they bought only last month because the controversy surrounding the sale has created a security risk.

Mrs Blair had hoped to buy the two flats, costing £265,000 each, in secret. One was to be a home for the Blairs' oldest child, Euan, when he begins his studies at Bristol University. The other would have been rented out to a tenant, who would have been unaware of the landlord's identity.

However, the furore caused by the involvement of a convicted criminal, Peter Foster, in buying the flats has turned them temporarily into the most famous address in Bristol.

A Downing Street official said: "The question is begged by this coverage as to whether they can keep the flats because of the security business." Losing their properties would be a setback for Mrs Blair, who is reputed to be annoyed that she and her husband do not own a family house, despite a joint income of £500,000.

They sold their former home in Islington after the 1997 election because of the security risk, and have seen its value rise by over £1m. They now have three homes: a main residence above 11 Downing Street, Chequers for the weekends, and a house in Sedgefield, County Durham.

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