Tony Blair to donate profits of memoir to charity
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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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