Tony Blair lobbied Chinese government for Saudi oil company while Middle East peace envoy

The former prime minister made introductions for PetroSaudi

Jon Stone
Friday 29 April 2016 16:15 BST
Tony Blair, former prime minister
Tony Blair, former prime minister (Getty Images)

Tony Blair helped a Saudi Arabian-owned oil company lobby the Chinese government during his time as Middle East peace envoy, an investigation has claimed.

The Guardian newspaper reports that Mr Blair’s firm was paid £41,000 a month and 2 per cent commission on any multi-million pound deals that were secured.

Documents reportedly show the former Labour prime minister courted senior Chinese officials in 2010 and introduced them to representatives of PetroSaudi.

While the oil company pushed for Mr Blair to “help deliver transactions, not just make the intros”, his ultimate extent of involvement was more limited. There is no suggestion of any impropriety by Mr Blair or PetroSaudi.

A spokesperson for Mr Blair told the newspaper he had only made introductions between the Chinese regime and Saudi oil company.

“Mr. Blair is the beneficial owner of the businesses, and is named in our public accounts. His role was made known to the regulators [on establishment of the business] and he has never undertaken any activity other than making introductions. He does not do ‘deals,” the spokesperson said.

“The work Tony Blair Associates did for PetroSaudi International Ltd, which is based in the UK, was undertaken five years ago for a limited period of a few months and was completely unrelated to the Middle East.

“It is ludicrous to suggest that we would use PetroSaudi for anything related to Quartet work, and our contract with them clearly stipulated that this could not occur.

“Also, as we have said on previous occasions, neither TBA nor Mr. Blair has arranged any meetings with any British minister for PetroSaudi or for any other clients.”

PetroSaudi is co-owned by Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who at the time was the son of the Saudi monarch.

The Independent has attempted to contact Mr Blair for further comment on this story.

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