Tony Blair’s team caught again not paying interns

9:12 am - July 3rd 2013

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by Charlie Yaxley

It appears former PM Tony Blair is still resolute in his position on not paying interns, despite coming under criticism for it earlier.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation yesterday posted adverts looking for an External Affairs Intern and an Education Intern, both lasting for a period of three months.

Any applicants will have to be largely self-funded though as in return they will receive merely lunch and travel expenses.

Blair currently receives £63,468 as part of his pension package following his exit from office, on top of an allowance of £84,000 a year.

In case he felt this was an insufficient amount to live from, the variety of positions he has taken on led to an estimation that he had earned £80 million since leaving office in 2007.

But it appears he feels unable to dip into his estimated £120 million plus fortune in order to pay at least the minimum wage to his interns.

Blair has previously faced criticism for not paying interns after adopting a similar policy when hiring for the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative.

At a time when graduates are finding it increasingly hard to find a paid position, especially in the charity sector, it seems that Blair is no longer concerned with the notions of social mobility or a national minimum wage he advocated for in office.

The job adverts can be found here and here.

UPDATE: Tony Blair’s office has sent us this statement:

It’s always best to check the facts before running a story. Firstly, the figures you quote on Mr Blair’s earnings are completely wrong.

Secondly, as we have previously made clear, the Office of Tony Blair does not have a formal and rolling intern programme, however as and when we do have interns we pay them the London Living Wage.

The Foundations are independent organisations with their own policies. As charitable organisations, they have volunteers.

A Tony Blair Faith Foundation spokesperson said:

Like all charities who rely on those motivated to help their cause, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation values the contribution of those who volunteer for us. By volunteering our interns are giving practical support to help prevent religious prejudice, conflict and extremism, helping current leaders and the next generation understand the impact and complexity of religion in the world. In return, participants get all we can offer in terms of a structured programme of professional development.

As an independent charity with our own governance, we have put together a volunteer internship programme that is an exciting opportunity to experience a fast-paced and dynamic environment within an international NGO. It is aligned with the best practice and recommendations of the Internship Charter of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and mirrors other similar charitable organisations.

As the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has no religious affiliations we encourage those of all faiths and none to apply for our internships.

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Reader comments

I was pleased to see the tony Blair charity foundation site is blocked by my work firewall. Category: Virus site

Why a pic of the House of Commons ?

That isn’t where the foundation based is it ?

Tony Blair’s office once agains caught not paying interns


4. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

well at least he doesnt pull their finger nails out unlike some of Tony’s clients!

5. Richard Carey

In the moral universe, Tony Blair is a black-hole.

This must be final confirmation that Blair is a Tory.

7. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

6. Cherub

Actually when he declared war on Iraq I think he showed he was a lot more than that.

8. Dissident

@7 I thought poodles were pets….

So, you can plaster your name on a charity to look good, but won’t pay a penny to those struggling to get a foot on the first rung of the work ladder?

Keeps out the riff-raff though, eh Tony?

Firstly, offering career opportunities only to people who can afford to work for free is a form of social discrimination.

Secondly, if the Tony Blair foundation thinks that calling interns “volunteers” means they are not workers and don’t have to be paid, they are wrong! IF the interns have fixed working hours and are assigned specific duties, they are legally an employee and entitled to the national minimum wage.

InternAware, the pressure group, have successfully sued organisations on behalf of illegally unpaid interns and those organisations have been forced to pay back unpaid wages. They have also handed over the details of organisations advertising illegally unpaid internships to the Employment Minister Jo Swinson who gave them to HMRC.

For the record, I pay my interns a living wage : )

11. Dissident

@ Rebecca

He should be sued then! Mind you he should also be carted off to The Hague in shackles, and then the court proceedings adjourned until a certain building in Nuremberg was made available. Been a Scrooge isn’t the worst of Tory Bliar’s crimes.

12. Dissident

And now I know which party you are affiliated to, Rebecca, kindly explain ol’ Cleggy boys’ choices recently. Especially siding with those Etonian spivs…

13. eric idler

What proportion of this sites’ revenue goes to the writers, Sunny?

14. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

11. Dissident

He should take up religion ; then his hypocrisy will be complete.

15. Dissident

@14 yeah he’s a complete hypocrite!

16. Paul peter Smith

I think he has, didn’t he convert to Catholicism for some reason while he was PM or am I mixing him up with some other rent seeking, war mongering parasite?

As I came upon this thread, my attention was drawn to an alarming Boots advert in audio for Senokot to alleviate constipation. Surely, this can’t have been a coincidence?

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