Tony Blair has been dropped from appearing at a world hunger conference in Sweden after he allegedly demanded £330,000 to do a twenty minute speech.
The former Prime Minister was asked to speak tomorrow at the Eat conference in Stockholm which, according to its website, will be ‘featuring the brightest minds from the fields of science, politics, business and civil society.’
The Eat conference first took place last year where US president Bill Clinton was the main speaker. Clinton was paid £327,000 to give a half an hour talk but Eat only offered Mr Blair £215,000 for his twenty minute slot. However, despite being offered this six figure sum there was no agreement between Eat and Kruger Crowne talent agency, which represents Mr Blair. It is alleged that Kruger Crowne asked eat for £250,000 plus £80,000 in expenses for the former PM’s speech.
A source within Eat has said that “Blair is just not Clinton, and even his star peer is fast diminishing.
“So for his talent reps to think Eat was going to pay massive bucks for him shows they overestimated his worth.”
Since leaving Number Ten Downing Street in 2007 Mr Blair has been making a substantial amount of money giving speeches. He was reportedly paid £327,000 for a speech in China to an audience containing Communist Party Officials and given £400,000 after a talk in the Philippines.
Kruger and Crowne asked Eat to pay all the money to the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, that campaigns for equal opportunities for women across the globe.
Tony Blair’s office released a statement stressing that the money from Eat would have gone to his wife’s charity and that “prior commitments had meant [attending the Eat conference] would be logically impossible”. Furthermore “His office at no point negotiated ‘the amount of money he would be earning’ because if he had been able to do the event, he would not have earned anything.”