Blair signed secret contract with Saudi oil firm promising him £41,000 a month and a slice of any deals he helped broker

9 Nov
  • Tony Blair signed contract with PetroSaudi to promote it to Chinese leaders
  • The firm, founded by senior member of Saudi royal family, proposed fees of £41,000 and a 2% commission on any successful deals he brokered
  • In turn the Saudi oil firm was told it was not allowed to disclose Blair’s role
  • It is the first time a detailed contract by his office has been disclosed
  • Revelations may bring fresh criticism to his role as Middle East peace envoy
  • Blair’s office maintains work with firm had ‘nothing to do with Middle East’ 

Tony Blair signed a secret contract with a Saudi oil firm, which promised him £41,000 a month and commission on deals he helped broker, it has been claimed.

The former prime minister signed the agreement with PetroSaudi – founded by a senior member of the Saudi royal family – in November 2010 in a deal that would promote the firm to Chinese leaders.

It proposed fees of £41,000 a month and a two per cent cut on any successful negotiations for Blair, while the firm was told it was prohibited from disclosing his role without consent.

The 21-page leaked document, obtained by The Sunday Times, is the first time a detailed contract agreed by his office – Tony Blair Associates – has been revealed.

The newspaper claims it is also the first piece of evidence of his work for a Middle Eastern oil firm.

Mr Blair’s role as a Middle East Peace Envoy is to hammer out a ceasefire in times of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinian

But it is thought the revelations will give rise to fresh criticism of his role and his private interests.

PetroSaudi, which was jointly founded by Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid and son of Saudi Arabia – King Abdullah – Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, has projects in Tunisia, Ghana and Indonesia.

A senior PetroSaudi source told the Sunday newspaper: ‘[Blair] has got deep ties to the Middle East and that is how we got to know him.

‘It was a confidential engagement to help us develop business in China.’

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The report stated that TBA would help find potential sources of new investment and Blair would have to personally make introductions to contacts, including senior political leaders.

A former ambassador to Libya, Oliver Miles, has called for the former Labour Party leader to be removed from his current post in the Middle East – where his office is based in Jerusalem.

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The former Labour Party leader (centre) stands shoulder to shoulder with George Osborne, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and John Major at the service this morning amid claims he ‘signed a secret contract’ with the oil firm.

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The leaked document is the first time such a detailed document by Tony Blair’s office has been exposed

Tony Blair on being called ‘mad’ by Boris Johnson (archive)
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The leaked document is the first time such a detailed document by Tony Blair’s office has been exposed

Tony Blair on being called ‘mad’ by Boris Johnson (archive)
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‘The fact this was kept a secret, or was intended to be kept a secret, was a mistake,’ he told the Sunday Times.

But Tony Blair Associates has defended the claims, maintaining the PetroSaudi contract was ‘nothing to do with the Middle East’ and only lasted for ‘a period of months’.

A spokesperson said: ‘Tony Blair Associates worked for PetroSaudi for a period of months over four years ago.

‘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.

‘TBA has had no involvement in Malaysia and has no knowledge of the matter.’

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The former Labour Party leader signed the deal with PetroSaudi, which was co-founded by the son of the King of Saudi Arabia – Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud (pictured centre, shaking hands)

PetroSaudi (pictured is one of its ships) asked that Blair personally introduce them to his Chinese contacts.