Former PM Blair accused of breaking quarantine rules after U.S. trip - Sunday Telegraph

LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been accused of breaking UK COVID-19 restrictions after failing to self-isolate for two weeks following a two-day trip to the United States, the Sunday Telegraph reported. The newspaper said it had obtained pictures showing Blair, who served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007, leaving a London restaurant 10 days after his return from Washington last month. The Sunday Telegraph said it understood that Blair appealed to Whitehall officials for special dispensation from the COVID-19 rules, but that he was not issued with the formal exemption letter he would have needed to avoid a 14-day isolation period

Reuters October 18, 2020 05:10:46 IST
Former PM Blair accused of breaking quarantine rules after U.S. trip - Sunday Telegraph

Former PM Blair accused of breaking quarantine rules after US trip  Sunday Telegraph

LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been accused of breaking UK COVID-19 restrictions after failing to self-isolate for two weeks following a two-day trip to the United States, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The newspaper said it had obtained pictures showing Blair, who served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007, leaving a London restaurant 10 days after his return from Washington last month.

The Sunday Telegraph said it understood that Blair appealed to Whitehall officials for special dispensation from the COVID-19 rules, but that he was not issued with the formal exemption letter he would have needed to avoid a 14-day isolation period.

Blair was in Washington for a White House ceremony at which Israel signed agreements establishing formal relations with Bahrain and the UAE.

The newspaper quoted a spokesman for Blair as saying he was invited by the U.S. government because of the role he played in the deal, describing the ceremony as a "diplomatic conference".

The spokesman also insisted Blair "posed no risk to anyone" as he was tested before his departure, on arrival at the White House, and again several times since returning to the UK.

Several major figures have been accused of damaging public confidence in the UK government's coronavirus response by breaking or appearing to break rules.

In May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, refused to quit after it emerged he had driven 250 miles (400 km) from London to northern England when all but essential travel was forbidden.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.