Former British PM was reportedly contracted in 2010 to help broker deals for PetroSaudi in China
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was paid £41,000 ($65,195) a month to work by a Saudi oil company headed by a member of the royal family to introduce the firm to his political contacts in China, according to documents leaked to the Daily Mail newspaper.
The contract between Tony Blair Associates (TBA) and PetroSaudi, which was co-founded by Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, a son of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, was signed in 2010, the report claimed.
As part of the deal, Blair agreed to make “introductions to the senior political leadership, industrial policymakers, corporate entities and other persons in China identified and deemed by us and you to be relevant to PetroSaudi’s international strategy”.
In return, Blair is reported to have charged £41,000 a month and 2 percent commission on any of the multi-million-pound deals resulting from his introductions.
PetroSaudi confirmed that Blair was contracted to help develop its business in China for ‘about four or five months maximum’, meaning he potentially earned up to $325,000, not including any commission he may have claimed.
The contract also stipulated that the Saudis could not make the contract public without his permission. “Each party will ensure that no announcements, statements or documentation containing any reference to either party or to Tony Blair will be published or made without the prior express written consent of the other party,” the contract allegedly stated.
Blair has been widely criticised for taking on lucrative consultancy work since he left office in 2007, including giving Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, PR advice after his regime killed 14 unarmed civilians.
However, a spokesman for Blair claimed the consultancy work for PetroSaudi did not represent any conflict of interest to his work as a Middle East peace envoy as it related to the region and focused on China.
“This was in connection with an issue in the Far East and nothing whatsoever to do with the Middle East or the unpaid ex-officio role of Tony Blair for the quartet in Palestine,” a spokesperson said.