Tony "I'm a socialist" Blair has pocketed over £25 million since he stepped down as prime minister four years ago, but the true figure, hidden through a web of companies, is thought to be much higher
18 September 2011
'I am a socialist because it stands for equality'. So said the Rt Hon Anthony Charles Lynton Blair in his maiden speech in the House of Commons on July 6 1983. However, as Tony Blair is now a millionaire several times over, it would appear that some people are more equal than others.
Blair graduated in jurisprudence from St John's College, Oxford and later qualified as a barrister.
He was elected as the Labour MP for Sedgefield in 1983 (current parliamentary salary: £65,737), and enjoyed a rapid ascent, with his first front bench appointment coming a year later.
He was appointed Labour leader in 1994, following the sudden death of John Smith.
At the age of 43 years old Blair became the youngest Prime Minister (current salary: £197,689) since 1812, following a landslide victory in the 1997 General Election.
Victories in the 2001 and 2005 elections meant that when Blair resigned the premiership in 2007 he was the Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister and the only person to lead the party to three consecutive General Election victories.
However, it is Blair's post-PM activities that have made him a serious financial heavyweight, and it has been estimated that he has earned at least £15m since leaving Number 10.
He is a senior advisor at investment bank JP Morgan (salary estimates range between £500,000 and £2.5m) and advises the Swiss insurance firm Zurich Financial Services on climate change issues for a reputed £1m a year, not to mention his consulting role with luxury goods firm LVMH. And he was said to have been paid an estimated £1m for writing a report for the government of Kuwait on the future of the oil-rich state.
Indeed, such is the demand for his advisory services that he has set up a commercial consultancy firm, Tony Blair Associates, which has banked at least £2m advising foreign countries and businesses.
Although still dogged by certain decisions made when PM, such as his unpopular wars, Blair is cashing in on his popularity and has received an estimated £5m for his memoirs, although he has vowed to give the money to charity with the Royal British Legion the beneficiary.
The royalties from sales – autobiographies by former PMs Margaret Thatcher and John Major sold around 500,000 and 200,000 copies respectively - are likely to earn millions more for the charity.
And for those that couldn't wait for the memoirs to be published, Blair has been active on the after-dinner speech circuit. Signed to the Washington Speakers Bureau for £500,000, Blair typically commands up to $250,000 for a 90-minute speech.
He is widely believed to be the highest paid speaker – commanding even more than former US President Bill Clinton – and has reportedly earned over £5m for his speaking engagements. Last year he earned almost £400,000 for two half-hour speeches in the Philippines.
On top of this, Blair receives £84,000 of taxpayers' money to run a private office, and he is also entitled to draw a pension of £63,468.
Most recently, the former PM named as the 2010 recipient of the annual Liberty Award in the US - including a £67,000 cash prize.
Blair's vast property portfolio
Finally, Blair, who is married to Cherie Booth QC, the barrister daughter of actor Tony Booth, also boasts an enviable property portfolio.
Most recently, the Blairs paid £1m for a house for a three-bedroom maisonette in a Georgian townhouse in central London for their daughter. It becomes the eighth home in the Blairs' seemingly ever-expanding portfolio.
It was bought mortgage-free in the names of Mrs Blair and her 22-year-old daughter Kathryn, Land Registry documents revealed in August 2010. Their three eldest children now each have a £1m home in central London, all bought with substantial help from their parents.
Kathryn and her older brothers Euan, 26, and Nicky, 24, all live within striking distance of their parents' £3.7m mansion in Connaught Square.
The Blairs have amassed property worth £15m since Mr Blair entered Downing Street in 1997. Mrs Blair is understood to have paid for the two-storey property for Miss Blair, who until recently studied European law in Strasbourg, where she had a scholarship. She previously studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. It follows the purchase of a £1.3m Grade II-listed townhouse for Euan and a £1.13m 'lad's pad' for Nicky.
Since leaving Downing Street in 2007, Mr Blair is estimated to have made £25m from lectures and lucrative consultancy deals. Claims that he has earned up to £60m have been dismissed by his office as 'simply ludicrous'.
The true figure for Mr Blair's wealth is impossible to pin down. He has set up a complicated web of companies through which he channels his earnings without having to declare them publicly.
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