Tony Blair hints at return to political life to lead UK coronavirus vaccination efforts

Tony Blair gets quizzed on return to politics by radio host

Tony Blair has urged the Government to accelerate the vaccination programme to ensure millions of Britons receive their coronavirus jab by January. Mr Blair suggested the scheme should be expanded to those “doing the spreading” rather than just focussing on the most vulnerable. BBC Today presenter Nick Robinson noted Mr Blair’s “frustration” with the current strategy, questioning whether the former Prime Minister may be considering a comeback.

Mr Robinson said: “Just in a word, if you could, it’s December 23, you are ‘retired’ from politics.

“I sense your frustration. You want to be back in there running this.”

Mr Blair agreed he felt frustrated with the Government’s handling of the pandemic so far and did not straight out dismiss the possibility of seeking a more prominent role in the roll-out of the vaccination programme.

The former Labour leader said: “I don’t know whether I should be back there running this.

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“I’m just anxious because I can see a situation where, unless you really drill deep into each of these questions that I lay out, we risk a situation where every week that passes the economy and health damage gets bigger and bigger.”

Mr Blair’s seven-point plan for the vaccination efforts also suggested Britons could be given just one dose of the jab to provide a larger number of people a minimum of protection from the virus.

Outlining his proposal in The Independent, the former Prime Minister said: “We can’t eradicate this virus, we have to live with it.

“It will be with us probably for some years. It may change like the flu, so requiring constant adjustment is our means of combating it – and continuing our current course would mean severe lockdown until vaccination.”

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