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Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
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British PM from the 90s into the mid 00s
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British Labour Party politician, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He now runs a consultancy business and performs charitable work. Blair was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. Blair led Labour to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, winning 418 seats, the most the party has ever held. The party went on to win two more elections under his leadership: in 2001, in which it won another landslide victory, and in 2005, with a reduced majority.
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Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007. On the day he stood down as Prime Minister and MP, he was appointed official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.
Blair was elected Leader of the Labour Party in July 1994 following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under Blair`s leadership the party abandoned many policies it had held for decades. Labour won a landslide victory in the 1997 general election.
He was the Labour Party`s longest-serving Prime Minister and the only leader to have taken the party to three consecutive general election victories.
Blair was born at the Queen Mary Maternity Home in Edinburgh, Scotland on 6 May 1953, the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair (née Corscadden). Leo Blair, the illegitimate son of two English actors, had been adopted by a Glasgow shipyard worker named James Blair and his wife Mary as a baby. Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who had moved to Glasgow in 1916 but returned to (and later died in) Ballyshannon in 1923, where his wife Sarah Margaret née Lipsett gave birth to Blair`s mother Hazel above her family`s grocery shop. The Lipsett family in Donegal supposedly originated with a German Jewish immigrant to Ireland prior to the 18th century. George Corscadden was from a family of Protestant farmers in County Donegal, Ireland, who descended from Scottish settlers that took their family name from Garscadden, now part of Glasgow. The Blair family was often taken on holiday to Rossnowlagh, a beach resort near Hazel`s hometown of Ballyshannon in south County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Tony Blair has one elder brother, Sir William Blair, a High Court Judge, and a younger sister, Sarah. Blair spent the first 19 months of his life at the family home in Paisley Terrace in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh. During this period his father worked as a junior tax inspector whilst also studying for a law degree from the University of Edinburgh. His family spent three and a half years in the 1950s living in Adelaide, Australia, where his father was a lecturer in law at the University of Adelaide. The Blairs lived close to the university, in the suburb of Dulwich.
The family returned to Britain in the late 1950s, living for a time with Hazel Blair`s stepfather William McClay and her mother at their home in Stepps, near Glasgow. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Durham, England, his father being by then a lecturer at Durham University. After attending Durham`s Chorister School from 1961 to 1966, Blair boarded at Fettes College, a notable independent school in Edinburgh, where he met Charlie Falconer (a pupil at the rival Edinburgh Academy), whom he later appointed Lord Chancellor. He reportedly modelled himself on Mick Jagger. His teachers were unimpressed with him: his biographer, John Rentoul reported that, "All the teachers I spoke to when researching the book said he was a complete pain in the backside, and they were very glad to see the back of him". Blair was arrested at Fettes, having being mistaken for a burglar as he climbed into his dormitory using a ladder, after being out late.
After Fettes, Blair spent a year in London, where he attempted to find fame as a rock music promoter, before going up to the University of Oxford to read jurisprudence at St John`s College. As a student, he played guitar and sang for a rock band called Ugly Rumours. During this time, he dated future American Psycho director Mary Harron. He became influenced by fellow student and priest Peter Thomson, who awakened within Blair a deep concern for religious faith and left wing politics. Whilst he was at Oxford, Blair`s mother Hazel died of cancer which was said to have greatly affected him. After graduating from Oxford in 1976 with a Second Class Honours BA in Jurisprudence, Blair became a member of Lincoln`s Inn, enrolled as a pupil barrister and met his future wife, Cherie Booth (daughter of the actor Tony Booth) at the Chambers founded by Derry Irvine (who was to be Blair`s first Lord Chancellor), 11 King`s Bench Walk Chambers. He acted predominantly for employers or wealthier clients, as in Nethermere v. Gardiner where he unsuccessfully defended employers that had refused holiday pay to employees at a trouser factory. Rentoul records that, according to his lawyer friends, Blair was much less concerned about which party he was affiliated with than about his aim of becoming Prime Minister.
Blair married Booth, a practising Roman Catholic and future Queen`s Counsel, on 29 March 1980. They have four children: Euan Anthony, Nicholas John, Kathryn Hazel, and Leo George. Leo was the first legitimate child born to a serving Prime Minister in over 150 years, since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell on 11 July 1849.
Following pressure from the Labour Party, on 7 September 2006 Blair publicly stated he would step down as party leader by the time of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference which was held from 10 September 2007 – 13 September 2007, having promised to serve a full term during the previous general election campaign.
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Anthony Charles Lynton Blair
www.tonyblairoffice.org, a. #ref_aaa Electorate abolished 28 February 1974, and reconstituted 8 June 1983.
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