London: Former UK prime minister Tony Blair has lavished praise on ex-US president George W Bush in his much-hyped autobiography, according to insiders who have seen drafts of the book.
In the book, the former Labour prime minister calls Bush ‘highly intelligent’ and a ‘visionary’ friend.
"It is the biggest and most unapologetic defence of Bush and his ideas ever written," News of the World quoted one aide as saying.
In the book, Blair says he thinks Bush was the only politician in the world with the courage and commitment to take on al Qaeda after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The comments will re-open Labour`s wounds over the Iraq war. Four of the five party leadership candidates have said they would not have invaded Iraq.
But Blair also insists Bush was ‘sensitive"’ and "fully aware of the consequences" of the 2003 invasion.
Those who`ve read the book say they were shocked at the strength of Blair`s commitment to Bush, who was internationally derided for his handling of the Iraq war.
Blair`s pal said: "It is basically an extended love letter. Tony says he was wowed by Bush`s strength, courage and conviction and saw him as a highly intelligent and visionary friend.”
"He says the Americans were the only ones with an effective vision on how to deal with al Qaeda and Iraq."