By Shane McGinley
Lucrative payday had been kept secret at the request of the Kuwaiti government.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was paid £1m ($1.5m) to advise the Kuwait royal family, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.
It quoted information released by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACBA), the body that vets the jobs of former ministers, which reveals that Blair was paid nearly $1.5m to advise the Kuwaiti ruling royal family.
The deal had been kept secret at the request of the Kuwaiti government but was released by the ACBA at the weekend.
Blair, who is currently the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East on behalf of the UN, the EU, the US and Russia, has amassed an estimated fortune of £20m ($30m) since he resigned as Prime Minister in June 2007, the newspaper said.
The newspaper also said that Blair was paid “hundreds of thousands of pounds” to advise the South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation, one of the biggest investors in Iraq's oil-rich Kurdistan region.
The details of the two deals were kept secret after Blair claimed they were commercially sensitive. However, the ACBA’s chairman reviewed the papers and ordered the deals to be made public at the weekend.
A spokesman for Blair told the Daily Mail: “Mr Blair gave a one-off piece of advice in respect of a project for UI Energy in August 2008. He sought, and received, approval from the Committee on Business Appointments before undertaking this project. It was UI Energy who requested of the committee that they delay public announcement, for reasons of market sensitivity.”
In a report published last week, former British PM Tony Blair said Kuwait needed to change if it is to fulfill its potential and avoid an "uncertain future".
He said the Gulf state needs to make a fundamental decision about its future to ultimately be a regional powerhouse of the future.
"Kuwait's history is great with a proud tradition of entrepreneurship and trading. Its potential is enormous and its people are talented and creative. But the plain truth is, that without a change in direction, this potential will not be realised," Blair said in comments on the Vision Kuwait 2035 launch.
It has been estimated that Blair has made almost $30m since he left Downing Street, including a $3m consultancy job with investment bank JP Morgan, a $750,000 consultancy contract with Zurich Financial Services, a $7m deal to write his memoirs and countless millions from speeches around the globe.
The report also claims that his company, Tony Blair Associates, has struck deals for Blair’s services in Kuwait and the UAE.
Good Business Mr. Blair. In these times of social and economic uncertaintees, this is one profession that pays off very well. People trust in your wisdom and advice, so you better be correct and honest.
it appears to be a joke. all the secrets that tony blair learned "on the job" he is using to his financial advantage now and it should be kept secret in the "top government job" compartment of his brain and contacts.
He should use some of that money to find those weapons of mass destruction LOL Why anyone would pay money for his advice I just don't know ! Thanks Phony Tony, thanks for screwing up Britain before you left! Lets hope you stay over there for good.
Yes indeed, it must be the end of the world when Blair gets paid to give advice. I'm wondering now who's gonna be a big enough fool to pay Bush for his advice.
Maybe payback from the Kuwaitis for supporting the USA in Iraq!
@Tony... erm... I am reading your comment in two very different way... haha!