Former prime minister Tony Blair says it would be a “very dangerous experiment” for Britain to give further power to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Ex-Labour premier said in an interview with BBC that populist politicians were worrying and it would be dangerous to give them a chance to form a government.
Blair rejected the idea that Corbyn’s victory in 2015 Labour Party leadership election was a direct rejection of him and his policies.
“I think it’s a result of the way the world works these days. But it’s a big challenge for the center… It would be a very dangerous experiment for a major western country to get gripped by this type of populist policy-making, left or right,” Blair said.
“I do think the center ground needs to work out how it recovers… gets its mojo back and gets the initiative back in the political debate, because… these guys aren’t providing answers, not on the economy, not on foreign policy,” he added.
Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) and former Labour prime minister Tony Blair ©AFP
Corbyn and Blair belong to different spectra of Labour Party thinking, with the ex-prime minister standing at the far right of conventional party opinion and Corbyn on the far left.
Blair was Labour leader from 1994 to 2007 and prime minister for 10 of those years. His policies of invading Iraq and free-market economics made him an unpopular Labour figure among party members and helped explain the victory of Corbyn last year.
Blair refused to support Corbyn in the leadership contest, claiming that his policies would be wrong for the UK
. He said last summer that those thinking of voting for Corbyn because their hearts were with him should “get a transplant.”
In the interview, Blair said he would not make comments on the upcoming Chilcot inquiry report into the Iraq war. He, however, said he felt some humility when thinking about his decisions.
“I was trying to deal with this in the aftermath of 9/11 and it was very tough, it was very difficult. I think it’s important that we also have humility then about the next phase of policy making, so we try and actually learn the lessons of the whole period since that time,” he said.
The report will be published on July 6, following seven years of analyzing evidence about how the British government acted before the invasion of Iraq and during the war.
Blair told British MPs before invading Iraq that intelligence showed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had “active”, “growing” and “up and running” nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were the basis of launching the war.
In 2004, however, a US report said that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his last WMD over a decade ago and had no capacity to build new ones.
Corbyn is reportedly preparing to call for an investigation into Blair for war crimes.