Blair cancels book signing amid Iraq protest threat

6th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's former prime minister Tony Blair on Monday cancelled a planned book signing session in London to promote his memoirs after anti-war protestors threatened to target it.

The announcement came two days after Blair had missiles thrown at him outside another book signing session in Dublin which was picketed by around 200 demonstrators, many opposed to his role in the 2003 Iraq war.

"I have decided not to go ahead with the signing as I don't want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protestors," Blair said in a statement on the website of his office.

"I'm really sorry for those -- as ever the majority -- who would have come to have their books signed by me in person. I hope they understand."

Britain's Stop the War Coalition had threatened to stage a major demonstration outside Waterstone's bookshop in central London, where Blair had been due to appear Wednesday, to coincide with the signing.

In a statement released earlier Monday, the group said: "If Mr Blair now cancels his book signing, it will be a victory for the anti-war movement and for everyone who views the event as offensive."

"A Journey", published on September 1, is an account of Blair's years leading the Labour party and a decade in power, during which Britain waged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

© 2010 AFP

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