Tony Blair unmasked as chief lobbyist for Saudi oil firm

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© Georg Schmidt via Shutterstock

FLYING somewhat under the radar since his absurdist stint as Middle East peace envoy, Tony Blair has resurfaced as the major broker in a booming nexus of Chinese and Saudi oil companies. 

The former British prime minister, who led the country for 10 years before an ignominious exit in 2007, has been revealed as a key lobbyist for PetroSaudi in its efforts to penetrate the lucrative Chinese market. 

PetroSaudi is partially owned by Prince Turki bin Abdullah, the seventh son of the former monarch, and is based in London despite its Arabian origins. Founded in 2005 by a wealthy Saudi playboy Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid, the group bills itself as privately owned oil exploration and production company with significant political sway. 

A series of documents and emails have now been released which confirm that Blair began lobbying for PetroSaudi in 2010 with his contract stipulating that the oil firm could not reveal his involvement without prior permission. His clients meanwhile expected him to “help deliver transactions, not just make the intros.”

 There is no evidence to suggest that Blair went beyond his preferred role of solely making introductions, for which his private company Tony Blair Associates (TBA) was paid £41,000 per month with a two per cent commission for any deals which materialised due to his help. 

TBA is actually the trading name of two other groups of companies, Firerush and Windrush, both of which are ultimately owned by Blair through a complex series of partnerships and limited companies which form a chain of Russian Dolls. 

A spokesman for the former prime minister said: “His role was made known to the regulators… and he has never undertaken any activity other than making introductions. He does not do ‘deals’.”

The former Labour leader, who has waded in and out of British politics since his departure at the height of the Iraq war, did prove himself to be a worthy investment for the Saudis. Emails reveal that Blair’s efforts in courting influential Chinese leaders paid off with a meeting between PetroSaudi and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) just months after he was hired. 

Owned by the Chinese government, the CNPC is the parent company of the publicly listed PetroChina, and is one of the world’s largest companies with revenue exceeding £300 billion and almost two million employees. 

While Blair will doubtlessly be innocent of any legal wrongdoing, the revelations have reopened lingering question marks over his neutrality throughout his role as Middle East peace envoy for the once acclaimed quartet of the US, UN, EU and Russia. 

Blair performed the role for nigh on eight years before stepping down in 2015 after making very little, if any, progress on the Israeli-Palestinian question. His announcement as peace envoy raised eyebrows among the satirically minded and sparked fury on the Arab streets.  

An opaque network of interests and connections related to Blair and his growing lobbying and property empires now plummets ever deeper into a hardly heartening vortex of totalitarian regimes including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, and of course Saudi Arabia and China. 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Whatever way you look at it, the man and his wife are gold diggers, they always have been and they always will be. The first and foremost thing during and from his time in politics has been money!

  2. Please Google guardian tony cherie blair property empire worth-estimated 27m pounds

    the man must be worth in excess of 200 million for his involvement with the saudis (you know..the ones that pulled off 9-11….)

    can someone explain to me how he has managed to gain this lot (and the rest, lets not kid ourselves here…) if he doesnt do deals???!!!! This idiot needs locking up..

  3. I asked Google to help me find a word that expressed something much more intense than .

    There doesn’t seem to be anything in English, but I quite liked Wikipaedia: ” … contempt is anger directed toward a lower-status individual.”

    And on one of his personal Twitter accounts, Blair writes: “”When I was PM I can’t think of a single big decision I wanted to take that Europe said I couldn’t. TB”. So whether one is for or against Brexit, the EU at least can say it got that one very right.

    Just look at his face in the picture with this EWN piece. He grimace looks plain nasty!

  4. Blair and his wife are the biggest crooks. Blair ruined this country with his ‘Multi-Cultural Britain’ farce, and dragged us so far down into the mire that we will never recover.
    All the while he was doing that his wife, who is a lawyer, was making money off his decisions.
    If I had my way, both he and his wife would be locked up until they die of old age.

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