| Tony Blair: Highs and lows
London, April 18: Tony Blair has said that he sat down with his children to explain that things were going to be very difficult over the Iraq war and that he might lose his job.
Referring to the three eldest, he says: “It was in the papers every day, so they were aware. Yes, they were worried.” The eldest, Euan, 19, was particularly concerned.
“Euan — who will forgive me saying — is not always fantastic at picking up the phone and telling his mum and dad what is going on at university,” the Prime Minister said in an interview with the Sun.
“He was on the phone virtually every night, giving me lots of support. And Cherie was tremendously supportive.”
Blair, who is usually quick to protest at press intrusion into his children’s privacy, says: “One of the greatest things is that all of this has passed Leo by completely, which is a very healthy antidote to it all.”
He speaks of how he risked his career by backing the invasion and of his relief at the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Acknowledging that a defeat by his party in the Commons would have brought his downfall, he says: “It is a decision you put the whole of your premiership on the line for. The point is that some people are actually going to die as a result of your decision. In the end, if you lose your premiership, well, you lose it. But at least you lose it on the basis that it is something that you believe in.”
He says he was “delighted” and “relieved” to see Saddam’s statue toppled in Baghdad last week. Perhaps with Sun readers in mind, he likens his job of running the country to that of a football manager, with “fantastic highs and lows”.
His choice of the Sun for his first in-depth interview since the start of the war is seen as a reward for its wholehearted support for his Iraq policy.