[This is the headline over a report in today's edition of the Sunday Express. It reads in part:]
One of Tony Blair’s former ministers has called on David Cameron to put a stop to the former PM’s globetrotting role as Middle East peace envoy.
Labour MP Kate Hoey said he was not achieving anything in the region and questioned why public money was being spent on subsidising his sun- tanning trips.
Former sports minister Ms Hoey, 63, made her comments during a debate about Gaza on [BBC] Radio 4’s Any Questions programme on Friday.
She said: “I probably shouldn’t say this as a Labour MP, but it does raise the question why we are still paying my previous leader, Tony Blair, to be some kind of peace envoy because I’m not quite sure what he’s doing.
“I remember the razzmatazz when he left being Prime Minister and he became this great peace envoy. I imagine he’s paid for it and I imagine one of the things the new coalition government is going to do is sack him.”
When told that Mr Blair is not paid for the position, she said: “Well, I don’t think he travels there in economy or with easyJet.” (...)
Ms Hoey’s comments came as a spokesman strongly denied claims made in a newspaper yesterday that Mr Blair had become a “consultant” to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. The spokesman said: “Tony Blair does not have any role, either formal or informal, paid or unpaid, with the Libyan Investment Authority or the government of Libya.”
He was responding to claims made by the dictator’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who reportedly said Mr Blair was an adviser to the Libyan Investment Authority, which manages the country’s £65billion of oil wealth.
As prime minister, Mr Blair famously shook the dictator’s hand during a meeting in a Bedouin tent outside Tripoli in 2004. Britain severed relations with Libya after the Lockerbie airline bombing in 1989. The convicted bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, was released on compassionate grounds last August.