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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Tony Blair repeatedly outraged by Prince Charles, says political aide

In the latest extracts from his diaries, Alastair Campbell recalls how angry the prince made the prime minister over the foot and mouth crisis, Chinese relations and GM foods.

Tony and Charles - on one of their better days.
Tony and Charles - on one of their better days.
Image: Max Nash/PA Archive/Press Association Images

FORMER BRITISH prime minister Tony Blair believed Prince Charles interfered with his government’s policies during his time at Number 10 and became so exasperated that he eventually took his concerns to Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth, according to Alastair Campbell.

Campbell, who worked as Blair’s director of communications and strategy, makes the claims in newly-published extracts from his diaries.

The Guardian reports that Campbell says Blair became angry when he began to believe Prince Charles acted beyond the constitutional boundaries between government and monarchy on a number of occasions.

Blair was annoyed by comments the prince made during the foot and mouth crisis of 2001, and again when Charles refused to attend a 1999 event held in honour of the then-president of China.

Blair claimed Charles was “trying to screw” the government by implying that it wasn’t being generous enough to farmers during the foot and mouth crisis, according to Campbell.

The former prime minister was outraged by an anti-GM foods article penned by Charles for the Mail on Sunday. Campbell writes:

He [Blair] was pretty wound up about it, and said it was a straightforward anti-science position, the same argument that says if God intended us to fly, he would have given us wings. It certainly had a feel of grandstanding.

Campbell says he tried to contact Blair when the prince’s staff sent a version through to the prime minister’s office ahead of its publication, but he as unable to reach Blair because he was playing tennis.

Read the latest extracts from Alastair Campbell’s diaries in the Guardian >

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