Blair's fight to keep his oil cash secret: Former PM's deals are revealed as his earnings since 2007 reach £20million
Tony Blair's secret oil industry links revealed
Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq.
The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.
Mr Blair - who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 - also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq's neighbour Kuwait.
In an unprecedented move, he persuaded the committee which vets the jobs of former ministers to keep details of both deals from the public for 20 months, claiming it was commercially sensitive. The deals emerged yesterday when the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments finally lost patience with Mr Blair and decided to ignore his objections and publish the details.
News of the secret deals fuelled fresh accusations that Mr Blair is 'cashing in on his contacts' from the controversial Iraq war in what one MP called 'revolving door politics at its worst'.
They will increase concerns that Mr Blair is using his role as the West's Middle East envoy for personal gain.
The revelations also shed fresh light on his astonishing earnings, which include lucrative after-dinner speaking, consultancies with banks and foreign governments, a generous advance for his forthcoming memoirs, as well as the pension and other perks he enjoys as a former Prime Minister.
Daily Mail, "Blair's fight to keep his oil cash secret: Former PM's deals are revealed as his earnings since 2007 reach £20million", 19 March 2010.
Daily Mail, "Tony Blair's secret Korean oil backer revealed to be 'convicted fraudster'", 21 March 2010.
Did they invade Iraq and Afghanistan for Oil?
"The Insider" mailing list article, 19 March 2010.
Tags: Tony Blair, oil, industry, corporation, Kuwait, Blair, war, Iraq, Afghanistan, , conspiracy theories.