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Tony Blair (1953- )
The Rt. Hon. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was Labour Member of Parliament for Sedgefield and Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons until the May 1, 1997 elections, at which time, as head of the new majority party, he became Prime Minister.

Blair was born in Edinburgh on 6 May 1953 and educated at Durham Choristers School, Fettes College, Edinburgh, and at St John's College, Oxford, where he studied law. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1976 and practised as a barrister until 1983, specialising in employment and industrial law.

Mr. Blair was elected MP for his present constituency in 1983. In 1985, he was promoted to the opposition frontbench as a spokesman on Treasury affairs and in 1987 was made deputy spokesman on Trade and Industry, with special responsibility for consumer affairs and the City.

He was elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 1988 and became Shadow Secretary of State for Energy, leading the Labour Party's opposition to electricity privatisation. In 1989, he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Employluent ,in which post he argued for a positive framework of trade union rights. In 1992, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of Statc for Home Affairs.

Blair was elected to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party in September, 1992. He has chaired the Party's Commission for Constitutional Reform and has been active in developing the Party's positive approach towards the European Union, while at the same time establishing a close relationship with the Clinton administration in the United States.

He was elected Leader of the Labour Party in July, 1994, fouowing the death of the Rt. Hon. John Smith, MP, and was made a Privy Counsellor in the same month. Mr. Blair and his wife, Cherie (Booth), whom he married in 1980, have two sons (Euan and Nicky) and a daughter (Kathryn). Mrs. Blair is a barrister.    Copyright ©1999, LLC