Blair criticised for taking US bank job

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London, Jan 11 (UNI) Former British premier Tony Blair has come under fierce criticism for accepting a part-time advisory job at JPMorgan, as the US bank is profiting from the Iraq war.

Reg Keys, whose soldier son Tom was killed in Iraq in 2003, said it was ''almost akin to taking blood money. If he had a conscience or any sensitivity, he would not have taken this job.'' The Daily Mail quoted Tory defence spokesman Gerald Howarth as saying, ''It will be viewed with some contempt by the armed forces that he picks up this large cheque when he was happy to send British troops into battle, ill-equipped and in insufficient numbers.'' JP Morgan is heading a consortium set to make billions as Iraq's economy recovers from the war spearheaded by Mr Blair and US President George W Bush.

It was chosen to run the new Trade Bank of Iraq, which has raised billions in trade guarantees by mortgaging future oil production and will make huge profits from the deals.

The Wall Street bank is expected to pay Mr Blair one million pounds a year.

MP Dr Des Turner, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, said, ''He's cashing in big time. Millions of people slog all their lives, make enormous sacrifices and end up with pitiful pensions. They don't get rewarded on this sort of scale.

''But I don't know how we can make a rule to stop US banks paying people to give advice on inflated salaries,'' he said.

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