Tony Blair to donate profits of memoir to charity

Last Updated: Monday, August 16, 2010 - 20:20

London: Former British Prime Minister Tony
Blair will donate the proceeds from his 4.6 million pounds
autobiography to a sports centre for injured soldiers to
honour their "courage and sacrifice," it was announced on Monday.

A spokesman said Blair would hand over the reported 4.6
million pounds advance payment plus all royalties to the Royal
British Legion which is building a 25 million pound Battle
Back Challenge Centre, which is due to open in summer 2012.

The Legion will receive the money, after the book,
called `A Journey`, is published next month, BBC reported.

A spokesman for the former prime minister said: "In
making this decision, Tony Blair recognises the courage and
sacrifice the armed forces demonstrate day in, day out.

The spokesman said Blair decided to donate the proceeds
from his book to injured British soldiers to honour their
"courage and sacrifice".

"As prime minister he witnessed that for himself in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Kosovo.
This is his way of honouring their courage and sacrifice.

"We have been consulting with a number of people and
organisations to decide the best support he can give. There is
one project consistently highlighted: The Royal British
Legion`s Battle Back Challenge Centre.

Blair`s move is likely to spark angry condemnation from
the families of soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan
wars, Daily Mail said.

It said critics will see it as a bid to counter attacks
on Blair`s stance over the Iraq war, for which he has refused
to express any regret despite the loss of British soldiers`
lives.

However, a spokesman said the former prime minister had
long intended to give the money from the book to a charity and
he had decided that the Battle Back Challenge Centre would be
the "best recipient".

Blair is reported to have earned over 12 million pounds
since leaving office in 2007 with a string of directorships,
including insurance giant Zurich and investment bank JP
Morgan, speaking engagements and business consultancies, in
addition to his unpaid role as a UN Middle East peace envoy.

Blair`s publisher, Random House, has promised that his
book will provide "frank, unflinching" detail of his time in
office, including his relationship with Gordon Brown.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 16, 2010 - 20:20

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