Tony Blair to earn £2m as JP Morgan adviser
11 Jan 2008
By Toby Helm and Bruno Waterfield
Tony Blair's earnings from the new post provoked fury among MPs
Tony blair will earn around £2 million a year in his part-time role as adviser to the Wall Street bank JP Morgan without ever having to go into the office, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
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The salary - far higher than reported so far - is proof that Mr Blair is well on course to becoming the richest former prime minister in history.
Last night rumours were growing that he is also increasingly keen on landing the job as the first fully fledged president of the European Union - meaning he would be mixing part-time posts advising businesses with one of the most powerful positions in world politics.
A spokesman for JP Morgan refused to comment on Mr Blair's salary last night but said the bank viewed the appointment as particularly vital at a time when the world economy was entering one of the most difficult periods in recent history.
"We thought that in these turbulent times he would be especially valuable for the company," he said.
JP Morgan is part of JP Morgan Chase & Co, a financial services firm with assets of around £760 billion in more than 60 countries.
Sources close to the bank said Mr Blair would not need to have an office on Wall Street as he would be called upon "as needed" - and would give much of his advice over the telephone. He might occasionally attend a board meeting or go on visits to parts of the world where the bank had major interests.
Mr Blair said on Wednesday that he expected to land a "small handful" of other similar posts with firms in different sectors in the coming months.
Mr Blair's earnings from the new post provoked fury among Labour and Opposition MPs. Ian Gibson, the Labour MP for Norwich North, said it was "unbelievable" that Mr Blair was making such sums.
"It really is extraordinary when many people are fighting for their jobs and millions of public sector workers, including the police, are being denied a decent pay rise.
"What does he know about banking anyway? What use is he to JP Morgan other than a face and a mouth?"
Des Turner, the Labour member for Brighton Kemptown, accused the former prime minister of "cashing in big-time". Gerald Howarth, the Tory defence spokesman, said the payments would appal servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, who were risking their lives for their country for only modest financial rewards.
"I think it will be viewed with some contempt by the Armed Forces that he picks up this large cheque when he was happy to send British troops into battle ill-equipped and in insufficient numbers," he said.
News of the appointment came as Mr Blair prepared to return to the front line of European politics with a speech tomorrow alongside the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Paris. Mr Sarkozy is pushing for Mr Blair to be installed as EU president next year.
Later this month Mr Blair will be centre stage again when he will serve as a co-chairman of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A spokesman for the forum said he would not be paid for the work.
Another of the co-chairmen at the Davos event will be JP Morgan's chairman, Jamie Dimon, who was responsible for recruiting Mr Blair to his bank.
The former premier's presence at the prestigious Davos gathering of global business leaders and politicians is unlikely to please Gordon Brown, who will be attending the event for the first time as Prime Minister.
Since leaving office, Mr Blair has already signed a deal reported to be worth at least £5 million as the advance for writing his memoirs.
This is in addition to £550,000 already earned in speaking engagements since he left Downing Street last June.
Friends say he is now able to command fees of at least £100,000 a time on the international lecture circuit without any difficulty.
In 2004 the Blairs took out a huge mortgage on a £3.65 million house in Connaught Square, London, which lands the couple with a monthly bill of £16,000.
Last year they also bought the adjoining mews house for £800,000. Together with the payments on their house in Trimdon Colliery, Co Durham, and two flats in Bristol, this took their total mortgage payments to over £20,000 a month.
EU officials said there would be no barrier to Mr Blair becoming the first EU President of the Council of Ministers while advising private sector companies at the same time.
BANK OF TONY - IN
£5m as an advance for writing memoirs.
£2m a year for part-time advice to JP Morgan bank.
£1.2m a year in estimated (minimum) earnings from the global lecture circuit.
£117,500 a year from Combined Prime Ministerial and MP's pension.
£90,000 a year in Public Service Allowance for the costs a former Prime Minister incurs from running an office.
£2m in expected (minimum) income from other private advisory roles.
£200,000 a year as (potential) EU president.
BANK OF TONY - OUT
£282,000 a year in total mortgage payments: on two properties in central London, a house in Co Durham and two flats in Bristol.
£200,000 a year in office running costs.
£100,000 a year in costs providing for children while at school and university.
£25,000 a year for the cost of a live-in nanny for seven-year-old Leo.