Tags: blair book protests

Blair Cancels Book Signing After Anti-War Protests

Tuesday, 07 Sep 2010 07:08 AM


Tony Blair took a last-minute decision to cancel his key book signing in central London because of security fears, after unrest at a signing in Dublin saw the former prime minister pelted with eggs and shoes, The Guardian reports.

Blair said he was cancelling the event, due to take place tomorrow at Waterstone's bookshop in Piccadilly, central London, "to avoid the inconvenience to the public it would have caused".

He said in a statement: "I very much enjoyed meeting my readers in Dublin and was looking forward to doing the same in London. However, 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 protesters. I know the Metropolitan police would, as ever, have done a superb job in managing any disruption, but I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book signing."

Blair called for understanding from those who were hoping to attend the event. He will sign copies of his memoir, A Journey, for the bookseller, which will be available from the store from 9am on Thursday.

A spokesman for the former PM had earlier said that the majority of the people who had gone to the book signing in Dublin on Saturday had wanted to meet Blair and get their books signed, but a small and vocal minority had grabbed the headlines. Blair met with a hail of shoes and eggs at the event, his first public signing, at Eason's bookshop on O'Connell Street. Four men were arrested.

Blair added: "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."

Read the entire story at www.guardian.co.uk

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