Tony Blair shuts consulting businesses to focus on charity

LONDON (AP) " Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is shutting down his international businesses to focus on charity work.

Blair said Tuesday that he was closing Tony Blair Associates, which has done consulting work for governments, banks and companies.

In a memo to staff posted on his website, Blair said he planned to devote 80 percent of his time to not-for-profit work. He said his charities would receive the reserves from his business interests.

Blair has earned millions since leaving office in 2007, leading opponents to depict him as mercenary.

He has also worked as a Mideast peace envoy and set up charities including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

In July Blair was strongly criticized by an official inquiry for joining the 2003 Iraq invasion based on flawed intelligence and poor planning.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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