Tony Blair is ‘Philanthropist of the Year’

Access to the comments Comments
By Everton Gayle
Tony Blair is ‘Philanthropist of the Year’

People have taken to Twitter in their droves in response to Tony Blair being named Philanthropist of the Year at the GQ Awards.

The accolade was given to the former British prime minister for setting up The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, the Faith Foundation and his African Governance Initiative.

But the award was met with irony, anger and general criticism after trending on social networks.

Former England footballer and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “Apparently Tony Blair has won GQ’s Philanthropist of the year award. Finally these awards have grasped irony!”

The award comes after it was recently reported that the firm Tony Blair Associates carries out consultancy work for the Kazakhstan government. The state has been accused by Human Rights Watch of torture, imprisonment, stifling the media, limits on religious freedom, restricting freedom of speech and violation of workers’ rights.

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke noted that it was the former PM who advised the Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev on ways to improve his image after police killed 14 unarmed protesters.

“It is jaw dropping that he should be given this award given his involvement in spinning the alleged brutal massacre in Kazakhstan,” Elphicke said.

After receiving the award Tony Blair said: “I would like to dedicate this award to the people that work with and for my organisations. I feel the pulse of progress beating a little harder.”​