Tony Blair is a British politician who served as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, was the leader of the Labour Party, and represented the constituency of Sedgefield as its Member of Parliament.
Born in Edinburgh and raised in Scotland, Australia and England, Tony read jurisprudence at Oxford and joined the Labour Party shortly after graduating in 1975.
He rose through the ranks of the left-wing party, becoming the MP for Sedgefield and occupying a number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet before becoming Leader of the Opposition in 1994 and subsequently leading Labour to a landslide election victory in 1997.
Tony is credited for moving the Labour Party towards the centre of British politics, using the term “New Labour” to distinguish his pro-market policies from the more collectivist policies which the party had espoused in the past.
In domestic government policy, he significantly increased public spending on health and education, introduced a national minimum wage, established constitutional reform such as devolution in Scotland and Wales, and saw progress in the Northern Ireland peace process.
The British economy performed well and the real incomes of Britons grew 18 per cent during 1997–2006, with Tony also presiding over a significant expansion of the welfare state during his time in office, which led to a significant reduction in relative poverty.
Despite retiring from active politics in 2007, Tony continues to be active in public life, serving as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East and launching the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, to promote respect and understanding of and between the major religions and to make the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world, and the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, to help some of Africa’s most dynamic leaders deliver the change their people need to relieve poverty.
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