Former UK PM Tony Blair accused of breaking covid quarantine rules after US trip: Reports
According to UK media reports, Tony Blair was spotted at a London restaurant 10 days after his return from Washington last month. He was invited to an 'international conference' at the White House in September.
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. He was photographed at a London club 10 days after the tour, according to media reports.
According to a Daily Mail report, Blair, 67, was pictured at Harry's Bar in London's Mayfair less than two weeks after returning from a two-day trip to the White House. A spokesman for the former Prime Minister said Blair was invited to an "international conference" because of his ties to the Middle East peace agreement between Israel and the UAE.
Now, he has been accused of ignoring the quarantine rules after a special dispensation from the rules was not awarded to him, according to The Sunday Telegraph. His spokesman denied the claims and said Blair "was told to follow the guidance on international conferences which he did".
The Sunday Telegraph said it had obtained pictures showing Blair, who served as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, leaving the 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.
The newspaper quoted a spokesman for Blair as saying that 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.
David Jones, a Conservative member of Parliament's public administration committee, told the Daily Mail "it sets an appalling example to travellers if a former Prime Minister appears to flout the rules".
Blair was pictured mingling with guests on the South Lawn of the White House on September 14. He held his face mask while posing for photographs.
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 from London to northern England when all but essential travel was forbidden.