Blair to write memoirs of life in Downing Street

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London, Oct 26 (UNI) Former British prime minister Tony Blair has signed a five million pound deal to pen his memoirs of life in Downing Street.

Those close to the British leader say the book will be ''frank but not disloyal''.

Mr Blair signed the deal with the publisher Random House, it was announced last night, although it is understood that his account of his 10 years as prime minister is unlikely to appear for two years.

''I hope my memoirs will provide a serious and thoughtful, but also entertaining, reflection on my time as a Member of Parliament and as Prime Minister,'' Mr Blair was quoted by Guardian as saying.

''Tony Blair was an extraordinary Prime Minister, and this will be an extraordinary book. It is a great privilege for all of us to be working with him on this unique project,'' Random House (UK) head Gail Rebuck, who is married to Mr Blair's close ally and former pollster Lord Gould, said.

The single volume memoir will be published under the Hutchinson imprint in the UK.

Mr Blair, 54, has said he did not keep a diary while in office and several of his close associates have privately questioned his willingness and ability to apply himself to what may be an arduous task for which his temperament is not best suited.

Mr Blair was represented by the US lawyer who negotiated a 12 million dollar deal for Bill Clinton's memoirs.

Robert Barnett, whose client list also includes Alan Greenspan, Barack Obama and Benazir Bhutto, said the auction process was one of the most lengthy and competitive he had handled in more than 20 years.

''So many Americans respect Mr Blair as a world leader and a man of great intellect,'' Mr Barnett said.

UNI

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