The former prime minister is greeted with chants of "war criminal" as he arrives at University College London to speak at a conference organised by former UK defence secretary John Reid.
TONY BLAIR was jeered by anti-war protesters as he arrived to deliver a speech at University College London (UCL) this morning.
Students and campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition used the occasion to reiterate their demand that the former prime minister be tried for war crimes and criticised the university for hosting the event.
Blair was speaking at the launch of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies (ISRS) – a research institute which is independent from UCL – alongside former defence secretary John Reid and education secretary Michael Gove.
But students say the event-organisers behaved in an underhand manner by failing to advertise the speech, which was open only to guests who paid £700 for tickets.
Chris Nineham, vice chair of Stop the War Coalition, which organised the protest says: "It is completely insane for a man who lied to parliament to be speaking at a conference supported by one of Britain's premier educational institutions. It is an absolutely mad situation."
UCL student Ollie Sutherland, one of dozens who protested, agreed that Blair was not welcome on campus: "Universities need to make the world a better place and inviting people like Tony Blair runs contrary to that."
UCL however, has defended its position, saying: "The event is being held under the auspices of the ISRS, an independent research institute and not-for-profit company.
"They are responsible for the conference, and no funding, facilities or accommodation for the conference have been requested or are being provided by UCL.
"The conference is not taking place at UCL. As an institute devoted to learning, UCL values freedom of speech highly and encourages the widest possible expression of differing views, within the law. We do not operate a policy of barring speaker with controversial views."
Earlier this week, Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell said they were "appalled" by the news that Blair was to appear at the event, and called on UCL to "reconsider its position in hosting this institution and instead protect its own academic independence."
Motion submitted to parliament by Jeremy Corbyn MP and John McDonnell MPThe following motion, EDM 712, was submitted by Jeremy Corbyn MP and John McDonnell MP on 12 November 2012. Contact your MP and uge support for the motion by signing EDM 712.
Institute for Security and Resilience Studies: That this House is appalled at University College London (UCL) opening the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies on its premises; notes that this is in partnership with weapons manufacturers, Ultra Electronics and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company both of which supplied weapons used for the bombing of Iraq; further notes that this Institute is dominated by arms manufacturers and politicians who promoted the war against Iraq, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair; and calls on UCL to reconsider its position in hosting this institution and instead protect its own academic independence.