UK & World News
Tony Blair: I Would Like To Return As PM
Tony Blair has revealed that he would like another stint as prime minister and believes he is now better equipped to do the job.
Mr Blair, who gave way to Gordon Brown in 2007, admits it is unlikely that he could return to power.
But he said he would not refuse if he was offered another chance to run the country.
Asked if he would accept another term as PM, he said: "Yes, sure, but it's not likely to happen is it, so..."
He added: "I have learned an immense amount in the past five years. One of my regrets is that what I have learned in the last five years would have been so useful to me [as prime minister] because when you see how the world is developing you get a far clearer picture of some of the issues our country is grappling with."
If he did re-enter Number 10, Mr Blair, now 59, would be the first leader to regain power since Harold Wilson in 1974.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, which he was guest-editing for a day, he said he had only stepped down in 2007 because he feared staying could have ripped Labour apart.
"I didn't want to go but I felt that I had to. The only choice would have been to have fought a very bloody battle internally which I thought would damage the country as well as the party," he said.
He also said Mr Brown had made his defeat at the general election in 2010 "inevitable" by failing to continue the New Labour policies that had turned around the party's fortunes.
The former leader, who won three successive elections with Labour and is now Middle East envoy, has noticeably stepped up his involvement in domestic politics in recent weeks.
He praised current Labour leader Ed Miliband's "sensible" decision to keep the party in the centre ground and warned against shifting to the Left.
He also predicted the Liberal Democracts would struggle at the 2015 election, which he believes will be much more of a two-horse race between the Tories and Labour.
"My advice to the Labour Party is to sort ourselves out with a strong modern policy," said Mr Blair. "Frankly you can't tell what will happen, if there will be a coalition or not, but I suspect it will be far more of a two-party fight next time.
"Ed Miliband has made a conscious decision that he is going to keep the Labour Party in the centre, and that is sensible."
Despite the upheavals caused by the financial crisis, he also stressed Labour should continue to foster a good relationship with business.
"My view is that you still in order to win from the Labour perspective have to have a strong alliance with business as well as the unions. You have got to be very much in the centre ground on things like public sector reform," he said.
"But I understand that some people think the financial crisis has altered everything and the mood is against this. Personally I don't think that's correct."