Blair calls off book party over Iraq protest threat
Britain's former premier Tony Blair postponed a planned launch party for his memoirs at London's Tate Modern museum Wednesday after anti-war protestors threatened to target the event, his office said.
It came two days after Blair cancelled a planned book signing at a London bookstore, and four days after demonstrators opposed to his role in the 2003 Iraq war hurled missiles at him outside another signing in Dublin.
"The event at the Tate Modern has been postponed for similar reasons to the book signing," a spokesman for Blair's office told AFP, adding that a new date for the party had not yet been arranged.
"He didn't want to put guests through the unpleasant consequences of the actions of the demonstrators on what should have been an enjoyable evening for his friends and family."
Britain's Stop the War Coalition had threatened to hold a protest outside the gallery on the banks of London's River Thames featuring British artist Tracey Emin and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.
"It shows he is running scared," said Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition.
"The people who say we should not protest are denying us the right to persist in asking questions about the war and denying the rights of Iraqis who are still suffering because of Blair's policies."
Blair had said at the weekend that he was cancelling the signing session on Saturday because he wanted to avoid "hassle" for the public.
"A Journey", published on September 1, is an account of Blair's years leading the Labour party and a decade in power from 1997-2007, during which he led Britain into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
© 2010 AFP