Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused of breaking two-week quarantine rules after being photographed at a London club 10 days after traveling to the United States.
67-year-old Blair was pictured at Harry & # 39; s Bar in Mayfair, London, less than two weeks after returning from a two-day trip to the White House.
A spokesman for the former prime minister said Mr Blair had been invited to an "international conference" because of his ties to the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal in the Middle East.
He has been accused of ignoring quarantine rules after not being granted a special derogation from the rules, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
His spokesman denied the allegations, saying that Mr Blair "was asked to follow instructions at international conferences he was doing".
Tony Blair, 67, was pictured at Harry & # 39; s Bar in London's Mayfair less than two weeks after returning from a two-day trip to the White House
Mr. Blair was seen with guests on the south lawn of the White House on September 14th. He held his face mask while posing for photos
The “international conference” exception applies to diplomats, staff members of international bodies such as the United Nations, and formal representatives of international conferences who have “been granted privileges and immunities”.
But Mr Blair has been considered a private citizen since he gave up his role as envoy for the Middle East in 2015.
His spokesman said, “We believe he has followed all guidelines from the UK and US governments.
Blair was tested for Covid on his arrival at the White House prior to leaving the UK when he returned to the UK and has been tested several times since then. All tests were negative. No further meetings were attended. & # 39;
- Liverpool Mayor's older brother Joe Anderson died of coronavirus a few hours after receiving intensive care. The city is currently subject to Level 3 restrictions and has one of the highest infection rates in the country
- London's hospitality sector warned that profits fell 85 percent during the first trading session of the Tier 2 lockdown during the day, despite drinkers taking to the city streets in the evening
- Tony Blair denied violating coronavirus isolation rules after returning from a trip to Washington DC
- The House of Commons admitted to breaking the curfew by allowing MPs to drink in bars after hours but did not say if Health Secretary Matt Hancock was present
- Coronavirus cases continued to surge across Europe, and countries hit record highs for one day as Sweden considered taking local action without a lockdown
David Jones, a Conservative member of Parliament's public administration committee, told the newspaper that "it is a horrific example for travelers when a former prime minister appears to be breaking the rules".
Mr Blair was seen among guests on the south lawn of the White House on September 14. He held his face mask while posing for photos.
When Blair returned to the UK on September 16, he reportedly traveled on a private jet on the Falcon 7X for £ 7,000 an hour.
It is believed that he had a team of Scotland Yard security guards with him – paid for by the UK taxpayer.
Ten days after his return, on September 26th, he was pictured leaving "one of the most elegant and sophisticated private member clubs in London".
David Jones, a Conservative member of Parliament's public administration committee, told the newspaper that "it is a horrific example for travelers when a former prime minister appears to be breaking the rules". In the picture, Mr. Blair is leaving the club
Failure to comply with the self-isolation rules could face a £ 1,000 fine or potential prosecution.
Blair praises new Labor leader Keir Starmer for making the party "competitive" again after Corbyn
Sir Keir Starmer has made Labor again a "politically competitive" party capable of winning general elections, says Tony Blair.
The former Labor leader and prime minister praised his successor's performance in the three months since he won the competition to replace Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Blair told the PA news agency, “Keir is doing a good job – a very good job actually – and I think he put Labor back on the map. He made them competitive again.
“He will know and we all know that there is still a long way to go before a general election and there are many things to be done.
"But in these months since he became the leader, I think he has completely changed the public image of the Labor leadership, and he deserves respect and admiration for it."
When asked if Sir Keir made Labor a party that can win again, the former prime minister said: “He has put it in a position where it can be done.
“There are a number of questions about politics and so on. I am sure and know that it will come at this time.
“But has he made it politically competitive again, which it hasn't been for a long time? Yes – and that is a big step forward for the Labor Party. & # 39;
Labor has not won parliamentary elections since Blair left office in 2007. Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn could not secure majorities.
A Federal Foreign Office spokesman said: “The FCDO grants travel exemptions to diplomats on business related to the interests of the UK, representatives of international organizations and their families and loved ones. Those who have been granted an exemption do not need to self-isolate. & # 39;
As of last month, police forces have imposed just 38 fines out of over 4,000 referrals from health officials.
The story began when the UK recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths in four months after another 150 victims were announced.
Health Department statistics show the dire milestone has not been reached since June 10, when 164 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus deaths were announced.
It's also an 85 percent increase from last Saturday when 81 deaths were recorded, and a 16 increase from yesterday's 136 deaths.
Health chiefs recorded an additional 16,171 cases today, an increase of just six percent from last Saturday's level (15,166). This is a sign that the UK coronavirus outbreak is slowly slowing down.
Up to 15,650 more positive tests were added yesterday.
Although the death toll from the virus is still rising, it is miles below the level at the height of the pandemic, when more than 1,000 people were registered daily in early April.
More than half of the population is also living under tightened coronavirus restrictions – London steps onto the second tier curbs and Lancashire joins Liverpool from the third tier.
But Boris Johnson is resisting calls to plunge the whole country into a two-week breaker shutdown for fear of the damage it could do to the economy.
In July, Blair said infrastructure to contain the spread of the virus is critical as no further national lockdown is possible, suggesting people must learn to live safely with the virus instead.
Mr Blair described the crisis as "the greatest logistical and practical challenge" any government has ever faced, but criticized ministers for not having yet put in place "containment infrastructure".
He said, "The reality is that we're going to live with Covid-19 – we're not really going to get rid of it.
“And if you look at what happened in other countries when the lockdown was eased, then more and more problems came up and a lot of countries that went into the lockdown and then eased it find spikes in the disease.
Coronavirus-positive tests in London have increased dramatically since early September, but changes in recent weeks suggest the rate of increase is slowing, with a 37 percent increase in the seven days to October 7, compared to nearly double Increase of 84 percent in the third week of September
136 deaths were recorded yesterday, but scientists have warned that could climb to 690 by the end of the month
“You can't be sure, but there is at least a 50/50 chance that the disease will come back in the fall, so it is imperative to prepare for it now.
"And to put in every single piece of containment infrastructure you possibly can to make sure that if you do, you can control the disease because you won't be able to get back into the lockdown we endured in March, April and May." & # 39;
In August, he claimed ministers had "misunderstood" the government's travel quarantine policy.
It targeted the government's 14-day quarantine rules for people returning to the UK from countries where coronavirus is on the rise, as the self-isolation period could be "significantly" shortened.
He urged ministers to take a “more sensible” approach to calculating risk as speculation mounts that Croatia and Greece could soon put Spain and France on the UK's “red list”.
Meanwhile, Blair also suggested that ministers were unduly reliant on officials during the crisis and that they needed to realize "where science ends and judgments begin".
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