The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Britons really want Cherie out

London, Jan. 1 (Reuters): The wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair is the person Britons most want kicked out of the country after her links to a convicted conman were exposed in the recent “Cheriegate” affair, according to a poll today.

In a tongue-in-cheek BBC survey drawing 15,000 votes, Cherie Blair topped the hall of shame with 31 per cent after damaging revelations last month about her property dealings with a convicted fraudster dominated headlines and embarrassed the government.

Cherie Blair, a high profile barrister, saw her public support tumble in December as the media focused relentlessly on details of how Peter Foster helped her buy two flats in Bristol, southwest England.

The BBC radio current affairs programme Today, which carried out the poll, said in a statement: “It has not been a good year-end for the Prime Minister’s wife.”

In a parallel vote on who they wanted to see named honorary Britons, 51 per cent went for Myanmar’s pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from 19 months of house arrest in May.

Former US President Bill Clinton came second with 18 per cent. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein — whom Britain is considering going to war against — came fifth on the list of favourites for British citizenship with 7 per cent of the vote.

On the deportation vote, Cherie Blair narrowly beat the London-based radical Muslim cleric Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri — accused by the US government of being linked to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida network.

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