Blair denies misleading MPs over F1 tobacco sponsorship

Tony Blair tonight rejected claims he “deliberately misled” the British parliament when he was prime minister over sleaze allegations.

Previously secret documents appear to show Mr Blair personally intervened to secure Formula One’s exemption from a tobacco advertising ban hours after meeting the sport’s boss, Bernie Ecclestone.

Commons Speaker Michael Martin today pledged to look into MPs’ complaints that the documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, showed the then prime minister lied about his involvement.

The Government has always maintained that the meeting did not influence the final decision – even though Mr Ecclestone was a major party donor at the time.

A spokesman for Mr Blair insisted: “There is nothing new here.

“All these issues were known and debated at the time, and the documents released are entirely consistent with Tony Blair’s answers at the time.”

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