Tony Blair


Tony Blair served as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007, the only Labour leader in the party’s 100 year history to win three consecutive elections. During his time in office, the UK economy enjoyed record growth.

His Government made major improvements in Britain’s public services, particularly healthcare and education, through a programme of investment and reform. Britain’s first ever statutory minimum wage was introduced. The Prime Minister led the successful London 2012 Olympics bid; and oversaw the peace process for Northern Ireland. He introduced the first elected Mayor for London, the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly.

He was a staunch advocate of an interventionist foreign policy, in particular in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. He trebled the UK’s aid programme for Africa and introduced the first environmental programme in the UK to combat climate change.

Since leaving office Tony Blair has spent most of his time on work in the Middle East, in Africa and on the fight against religiously based extremism. In the Middle East, formerly as the Quartet Representative and now through his offices in Israel and the region, he is specifically focusing on building relations between Arabs and Israelis. He works in eight African countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mozambique – through his Foundation the Africa Governance Initiative, helping the Presidents of those countries to deliver change programmes.

He has established a Foundation to combat extremism – the Tony Blair Faith Foundation – which works in over 20 countries with programmes on education and tracking extremism across the world.

He also founded and funds a Sports Foundation dedicated to boosting grassroots sport for young people in the North East of England, which includes the Sedgefield constituency he represented in Parliament.

He chairs The Climate Group International Leadership council.

More Speakers

Dr Gabriele Finaldi

Dr Gabriele Finaldi is a British art historian and curator. Since August 2015, he has been director of the National Gallery in London, England.