‘Tony Blair was last night improbably named philanthropist of the year by a leading magazine.
The former prime minister was handed the award to a ‘muted’ response at a celebrity-packed gathering in central London. It was in recognition of his ‘philanthropy, establishing three charities’.
GQ magazine’s decision drew immediate criticism, with Labour MP John Mann saying last night: ‘It sends the wrong message. This sort of award should go to an unsung hero who has given up their time for charity
Tory MP Charlie Elphicke pointed out that Mr Blair has advised Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, including on how to improve his image after his police killed 14 unarmed protesters.
He said: ‘It is jaw dropping that he should be given this award given his involvement in spinning the alleged brutal massacre in Kazakhstan.
People will be greatly concerned and wonder if this was the right decision.’ Gary Lineker tweeted: ‘Apparently, Tony Blair has won GQ’s philanthropist of the year award. Finally these awards have grasped irony!’ ‘