Keir Starmer using Blair as Labour's only winner says expert
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The former Labour Prime Minister will be the keynote speaker at a conference organised by his Institute and the Britain Project, a new campaign group dubbed the British version of Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche (LREM). Mr Blair will speak at the Future of Britain conference on June 30 which will be hosted by former BBC broadcasters Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel.
Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson will also speak at the event.
The conference sparked suspicions of a new political party forming as the advisory board of the Britain Project includes former Tory Cabinet ministers Rory Stewart and David Gauke, both of whom were kicked out of the party by Boris Johnson over Brexit.
Former Labour MPs Angela Smith and Lucian Berger also feature as board members.
The group was founded in 2019 by Liberal Democrat Monica Harding.
Speaking to Politico, a person close to the group said: “There are people who think that this is the embryonic new center party, but nobody wants to say it — because they’ll be the person who gets struck down.
“There’s a bit of that Julius Caesar thing of ‘no, please don’t give me the crown’ going on.”
Another person involved also told Politico: “It’s not a political party, but it potentially could be a movement that puts pressure on existing parties to move in the right direction. Otherwise, there is a risk that our politics becomes, on the one hand, the populist and nationalist Conservative Party, and then a Labour party that is perhaps fighting over the same voters.”
A spokesperson for the Tony Blair Institute said: “The event planned for 30 June was flagged in Tony Blair’s speech in January on the Future of Britain, when he said: ‘There is a gaping hole in the governing of Britain where new ideas should be … Above all, we need to make our economy highly competitive, attract world class talent, and make our independence from the EU a platform for economic growth. But it needs a plan, into which hard work and thought has gone. Policy detail. Strategic analysis. At present, there isn’t one.’”
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The spokesperson added: “The event has nothing to do with creating a new political party.
“It’s an ideas conference.”
The former Labour leader said he has no intention to form a new party and renewed his full support to Keir Starmer earlier this month.
But the Britain Project bears a lot of similarities with French President Emmanuel Macron’s party.
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Like the Britain Project, LREM also started out as a think tank before becoming a party.
And like LREM, Britain Project also stresses it is open to people from all sides of the political spectrum.
Organisers of the June 30 conference are said to be “desperate” to convince the French leader to join the event.
But according to Eurasia Group’s Mujtaba Rahman, it is unlikely the French President would agree to take part.
However, he claimed Europe Minister Clement Beaune may be sent out as an envoy instead.
He wrote: “No way Emmanuel Macron as President of the Republic could take part in a party event in another country. He might send an emissary, such as Clément Beaune.”
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