Labour use Tony Blair in election video marking 25 years since his landslide victory

Tony Blair has praised Keir Starmer for “setting Labour back on a winning path” in a video marking 25 years since his landslide election victory.

The former party boss, who has been left out in the cold by successive Labour leaders since leaving office in 2007, said it now had “a renewed sense of purpose and mission” ahead of Thursday’s local elections.

It is thought to be the first time Blair has appeared on an official Labour Party broadcast since quitting as leader.

In the two-minute video, he lists his government’s achievements, including the introduction of the minimum wage, tackling poverty, improving education standards, reducing NHS waiting lists and bringing peace to Northern Ireland.

Tony Blair in Labour's election broadcast (Photo: Labour Party)
Tony Blair in Labour's election broadcast (Photo: Labour Party)

Blair, who led Labour to three general election victories, said: “Today, just as in 1997, we have renewed leadership and a renewed sense of purpose and mission.

“Keir Starmer has shown strength, determination and intelligence in setting Labour back on a winning path.”

The video marks a significant shift in the party’s attitude towards its former leader after his successors Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn all sought to distance themselves from his legacy.

A Labour spokesperson said: “The 25th anniversary of the 1997 election victory is a timely reminder of what Labour can achieve in power.

“We are proud of those achievements. Tony Blair’s leadership serves as an inspiration for us, as we work to deliver a Labour government that tackles the challenges of the 2020s and beyond, with security, prosperity and respect for all.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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