The company of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stands to earn KD12m ($42.6m) in consultancy fees from the Kuwaiti government, it has been reported.
Tony Blair Associations, the former Middle East peace envoy’s firm, has racked up millions of dollars in exchange for advising the Gulf monarchy on matters of state, the Daily Mail said, quoting an unnamed Kuwait government source.
Kuwait was the first client signed by the London-based consultancy, which was established by Blair in 2009 to recommend ‘political and economic trends and governmental reform’.
Tony Blair Associates consulted on Kuwait’s ‘Vision 2035’, an economic and strategic plan for the kingdom.
A Kuwait government source quoted by the paper said “at the moment they have gone over the KD12m mark… [for] ongoing consultancy work related to the report.”
“Mr Blair got the work because of his high international profile and vast experience of government,” the source said. “He is regularly over here nowadays, as are his staff. In turn his Kuwaiti trainees have been invited to London. They will be shown around Whitehall and pick up tips learnt from Mr Blair’s time running the UK.”
Ahmad Saeid, a Kuwaiti analyst, told the paper: ‘I’m sure I’m not the only person in Kuwait who hopes that our government’s definition of “good governance” is not the same as Tony Blair’s.’
A spokesman for Mr Blair dismissed the claims as exaggerated but said a team from Tony Blair Associates will be working with the Kuwaitis for ‘several years’.
“The work done is all a matter of public record and has been reported extensively in Kuwait and elsewhere,” he told the paper, adding that payments were confidential.
Payments were confidential, he told the paper.
Last year it emerged that British taxpayers had spent more than £400,000 on Blair’s role as peace envoy, during which he represented the ‘quarter’ of the UN, America, the EU and Russia on the Middle East peace process.
The British Foreign Office spent £400,000 on office costs and expenses for the former prime minister, while staff costs were thought to top £100,000.