Pendennis | 7 Days | The Observer
Tony Blair joins the new Cliveden set
Can you think of a more delightful way to spend Easter Sunday than in the manicured grounds of Blenheim Palace? Tony Blair certainly couldn’t and, I’m told, greatly enjoyed himself there in the company of friends including Sun editor Rebekah Wade, PR man Matthew Freud and his wife, Elisabeth Murdoch. Cherie was abroad at the time and sightings of motormouth Jeremy Clarkson, one of Wade’s columnists, are unconfirmed.
At the beginning of the year, when Blair turned up at another of Freud’s parties, he found himself in a room with Sol Kerzner, the gambling tycoon who, at the time, was hoping to win the licence to put a super-casino in the Millennium Dome. It didn’t do Kerzner much good ultimately, but then Freud probably just likes the PM’s company and Tony can’t be criticised for accepting his hospitality.
The PM’s relationship with Elisabeth Murdoch is also interesting. There has been speculation that when he stands down from office, he might get some work from her father, Rupert, either as an employee of his media empire News International or, less directly, through publishing his memoirs and speaking deals.
Meanwhile, Wade, whose new romance with former racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks was reported here last week, will be making up her mind about the direction of her newspaper’s coverage in the post-Blair years.