Blair faces inquiry into spiraling security costs: Report

Ex-British PM Tony Blair is facing a parliamentary probe into the spiraling cost of his security estimated at six million pounds a year, a media report said.

Updated: Jul 18, 2010, 12:48 PM IST

London: Former British Prime Minister
Tony Blair is facing a parliamentary probe into the spiraling
cost of his security estimated at six million pounds a year, a
media report said.

According to the `Daily Express`, Tory MP Mark Field
will this week table a question in the House of Commons about
the costs of protecting Blair, estimated at six million pounds
a year and rising.

He says the state should only pay to protect one of
his homes and all other security should be met from the money
he earns from capitalising on his years as Prime Minister.

The furore came after at least six police officers
were photographed guarding the rear of Blair`s London home and
local residents complained the presence of such large numbers
of armed officers is making them nervous as well as affecting
the once calm atmosphere of the upmarket neighbourhood.

Blair also faces questions about the purpose of his
meeting with Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi last month at which
he was said to have been entertained "like a brother", the
report said.

With police forces facing drastic cutbacks, neighbours
living near Blair`s four-million-pound town house in Connaught
Square, London, are astonished at the array of firepower being
used to protect him.

One neighbour said: "The armed officers sit at
the back in full view of everyone with their guns on a table,
sipping coffee. They work shifts so we think there are 20 or
so involved."

A spokesperson for Blair didn`t comment.

PTI