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Nothing Personal: Tony Blair Humiliated on Social Media for BBC Comments

© AFP 2023 / Stefan RousseauFormer Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks during a news conference in London on July 6, 2016, following the outcome of the Iraq Inquiry report.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks during a news conference in London on July 6, 2016, following the outcome of the Iraq Inquiry report. - Sputnik International
A former British prime minister scoffed at Labour’s recent successes, but was met with online ridicule for his comments. Many supporters have come to the current Labour leader’s defense, pointing out his critic’s own troubled leadership.

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair spoke on Nick Robinson Political Thinking podcast, saying that Labour had been through a "profound change" under Jeremy Corbyn. 

"It is a different type of Labour Party. Can it be taken back? I don't know," Blair stated. He also said that something other than hard left or right options "will fill that vacuum". 

"I don't think the British people will tolerate a situation where, for example, the choice at the next election is Boris Johnson versus Jeremy Corbyn," Blair lamented. "I don't know what will happen and I don't know how it will happen."

READ MORE: Prof Explains Why Poll on Jewish People Leaving UK if Corbyn Was PM 'Nonsense'

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hit back at his critic, stating, "I think Tony should recognise that party membership is now much bigger than it has ever been." 

"I've been in the Labour Party all my life. I am a socialist. I am determined to see a fairer and more equal society," Corbyn stated. "That's what the Labour Party exists for. We're there for human rights. We're there for social justice. We're there for the future of the people of this country." 

"It's not personal, it's about us as a movement. That's why we were founded," Corbyn continued. "That's why the party is so big. And that's why I'm so confident that we are continually challenging this government and we will win a general election." 

Corbyn ally Chris Williamson spoke on BBC Radio 4's Today program, stating that he really did not understand what Blair was talking about and that the Labour Party has never been more united.  

"I think the party is going frankly from strength to strength," he said. 

"We achieved nearly 13m votes in the last election and we are giving hope to millions of people who had become really cynical about politics," he continued, adding that the party has been "inspiring people in a way that I never witnessed in my 42 years as a Labour Party member." 

Williamson also tweeted Tony Blair's surreptitious connections to Saudi monarch financing. Citing the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), the former PM received up to £12 million from Media Investment Limited (MIL), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group. 

READ MORE: Saudis Paid Millions to Tony Blair Institute for Advisory Role – Reports

"As Tony Blair bemoans the fact that Labour is now the biggest left of centre political party in Western Europe, this connection with Saudi Arabia has emerged," he said. "Thankfully Labour has embraced democracy and common sense socialism," he chided on Twitter. 

Other Corbyn supporters came to his defense, with Liam Young, author of the book "Rise", tweeting Friday that "Tony Blair told the BBC it 'might not be possible to take back control of the Labour Party.' Thank god he's right." 

Momentum founder Jon Landsman said the party will never return to Mr Blair's politics. "Tony Blair was never in the right party and there will never be a return to his politics in UK Labour," he tweeted Friday. 

"Tony Blair never misses an opportunity to push his agenda of undermining Jeremy Corbyn," Shadow Justice Secretary and East Leeds MP Richard Burgon asserted. "He should fight the Tories as much as he does the Labour Party." 

Despite allegations of antisemitism levied by a few centrist Labour MPs, Labour membership skyrocketed from 388,000 in 2015 to 540,000 in April 2018. Conversely, Blair's leadership saw Labour membership plummet from 405,000 in 1997 to 198,000 by the end of his term, BBC reports

READ MORE: Labour Open Four-Point Lead Over Tories Despite Anti-Semitism Scandal – Poll 

The National Executive Committee (NEC), Labour's governing body, also made substantial gains after eight Jeremy Corbyn loyalists were appointed to the board during elections held in August. 

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