Tony Blair asked government officials to keep lucrative deals a secret
Tony Blairpersonally asked government officials to keep details of lucrative post Downing Street advisory work hidden from the public, TheTelegraph can disclose.
In a letter sent the year after he stepped down as Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags prime minister, Mr Blair insisted that any contracts he struck on behalf of his new consultancy firm should be kept “confidential” to protect his new clients Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica , including foreign governments and major international companies.
Following his intervention, the official watchdog that vets the jobs ministers take up after leaving office quietly agreed to avoid publishing details about Tony Blair Associates that would “attract unnecessary attention”. It never published the names of its clients, despite publishing details of work Mr Blair had before the firm was set up.
The ministerial code requires former ministers to consult the advisory committee on business appointments (ACOBA) on each role they wish to take up within two years of leaving office. ACOBA’s rules state that it should publish its advice in each case.
The correspondence forms part of a cache of documents obtained by this newspaper following a four year legal battle to shed light on the clearance Mr Blair received before striking multi million pound deals to advise Gulf states and conglomerates. ACOBA was forced by a judge to hand over the papers after spending an estimated minimum of 10,000 in legal fees resisting a Freedom of Information request by TheTelegraph.
The documents reveal for the first time that fake designer bags , in addition to the contracts already known to have been struck byMr Blair, the former prime minister also sought advice on agreements to advise LVMH, the French owner of the Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton fashion houses, Harbinger Capital Partners, a US hedge fund, and the Lagardere Group, a media conglomerate run by Arnaud Lagardere replica louis vuitton , a close friend of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president.
Today’s disclosures follow years of controversy over Mr Blair’s commercial activities since leaving Downing Street in June 2007. He has been high quality designer replica handbags wholesale repeatedly accused of cashing in on contacts gained while in office, and of a series of potential conflicts of interest with the unpaid Quartet envoy role he carried out for eight years in the Middle East.
The revelation that government officials agreed to help mask details of Mr Blair’s work and then spent thousands of fake louis bag pounds resisting the release of their communications with him is likely to anger MPs and campaigners who have called for more transparency in his commercial dealings.
“Many of the individuals, governments replica louis vuitton bags from china and entities that TBA will serve, operate in competitive environments where disclosure cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk of projects, plans and affiliations can have adverse commercial or political consequences, and they simply will not wish to have even the fact of a relationship with a consulting entity made public.”
When ACOBA said it had to publish some details of the firm, Mr Blair’s office reiterated that “we are not looking to [attract] press attention at all given its embryonic nature”. It high quality designer replica handbags suggested wording that simply described the company as providing “strategic advice”. ACOBA published no further details about TBA beyond a short statement and Mr Blair closed the firm in 2016.
Mr Blair’s spokesman said that he “acted in accordance with the ACOBA guidelines at all times. There was absolutely no conflict between the commercial activities of TBA and his work as Quartet representative. No fake designer bags consultancy touched on that work in any way at all.”
The spokesman declined to say whether Mr Blair took up the LVMH, Harbinger or Lagardere Group roles.
But a cache of documents revealed by The Telegraph detail an apparent shyness of Mr Blair in relation to his future success.
In documents released to this newspaper following a legal battle with an official watchdog lasting almost four years, Mr Blair is revealed to have asked the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) to keep details of his commercial plans hidden from the public despite the body’s practice of publishing lists of all the roles taken up by former ministers after they leave office.
Writing to ACOBA in November 2008, Mr Blair who left Downing Street in June 2007 revealed that he was planning to set up a new firm, Tony Blair Associates, known as TBA.
“TBA will be a small global advisory firm which will provide strategic advice to a small and select group of corporations and governments,” he said.
“In essence the work of TBA will be similar in nature and scope to the commercial work I have been engaged in since leaving office, such as that for JP Morgan Chase and Zurich Financial Services, for which the committee has already given its approval.”
Mr Blair’s plan was to open an advisory firm to significantly expand his Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags roster of clients cheap replica handbags and farm out some of the day to day consultancy work to staff whom he would poach from Whitehall and top UK companies.
Members of the public would only hear of Tony Blair Associates three months later, in February 2009, when ACOBA published a note on its website stating that Mr Blair had set up the firm with the watchdog’s blessing.
But, in contrast to previous entries naming JP Morgan and Zurich as employers of Mr Blair, the entry for TBA named no specific clients. Nor were any forthcoming in the months afterwards.
ACOBA is required to vet all roles considered by former ministers for two years after they leave office, which for Mr Blair was June 2009, four months after the watchdog announced replica louis vuitton handbags he had set up his advisory firm.
The apparent reason for ACOBA’s silence is revealed today in Mr Blair’s November 2008 letter.
“I am writing to ask that TBA be permitted to maintain confidentiality with respect to its clients rather than report each individual commission it is offered to you for advice and subsequent publication,” Mr Blair said.
“Many of the individuals, governments and entities that TBA will serve, operate in competitive environments where disclosure of projects, plans and affiliations can have adverse commercial or political consequences, and they simply will not wish to have even the fact of a relationship with a consulting entity made public,” he wrote.
In subsequent months and years Mr Blair would pick up lucrative contracts advising Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, and governments including Kazakhstan and 1:1 replica handbags the United Arab Emirates. Such was his success that he took to criss crossing the world in a 30million private jet.
Many of the deals would only become public as a result of investigative journalism, much of it by The Telegraph.