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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cherie Blair 

In office
2 May 1997 – 27 June 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Norma Major
Succeeded by Sarah Brown

In office
1987 Election
Leader Neil Kinnock

Born 23 September 1954 (1954-09-23) (age 55)
Bury, Lancashire, UK
Birth name Cherie Booth
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Tony Blair (1980–present)
Relations Tony Booth, Lauren Booth, Booth family
Children Euan Blair (born 1984)
Nicholas Blair (born 1985)
Kathryn Blair (born 1988)
Leo Blair (born 2000)
Residence 10 Downing Street (1997–2007)
Connaught Square (2007–present)
Alma mater London School of Economics
Profession Barrister
Website Official website

Cherie Blair (born 23 September 1954), known professionally as Cherie Booth QC, is a British barrister working in the legal system of England and Wales. She is married to the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair.


Early life

She was born in Bury, then Lancashire, now Greater Manchester, UK and brought up in Ferndale Road, Waterloo, north of Liverpool. Her father, the actor Tony Booth, left her mother Gale when Cherie Booth was eight years old. Booth and her younger sister, Lyndsey, were then brought up by their mother Gale and their paternal grandmother Vera Booth, a devout Roman Catholic. Cherie and her sister both attended Catholic schools in Crosby in Sefton. Cherie Booth attended Seafield Convent Grammar which is now part of Sacred Heart Catholic College, where she achieved 4 Grade A GCE A Level passes. Booth has six half sisters, including the journalist Lauren Booth. She is a practising Roman Catholic.[1]

University, marriage, family

Euan (left) and Cherie Blair at the Red Bull Air Race 2007, London

She studied law at the London School of Economics and graduated with First Class Honours. She later came at the top of her year in the bar exams,[2] while teaching law at the Polytechnic of Central London (University of Westminster). In 1976, while she was studying to become a barrister, she met future Prime Minister and husband Tony Blair. She obtained a pupillage in the chambers of Derry Irvine ahead of him, although he was also taken on. Married on 29 March 1980, they have four children: Euan Anthony (b. 19 January 1984), Nicholas John (b. 6 December 1985), Kathryn Hazel (b. 2 March 1988), and Leo George (b. 20 May 2000). According to Blair's official biography, Leo was the first child born to a serving Prime Minister in over 150 years, since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell on 11 July 1849.

In July 1999 she was awarded an Honorary Degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.

Political attempt and views

Cherie Blair unsuccessfully contested the seat of North Thanet in Kent for Labour at the 1983 UK general election, losing to Roger Gale (Conservative).[3]

She has described herself as a socialist and at times has appeared to have views further to the left than those of her husband.[4] In March 2008 Cherie Blair she chaired the Street Weapons Commission on behalf of the broadcaster channel 4 , Booth and her team toured the UK and took evidence from people affected by street crime and published a report and practical advice in June 2008.[5]

Legal career

A member of Lincoln's Inn, she became a barrister in 1976 and Queen's Counsel in 1995. Until 1988, her head of chambers was George Carman QC. In 1999, she was appointed a Recorder (a permanent part-time judge) in the County Court and Crown Court. She was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 1999-2006, and on 26 July 2006 was awarded the honorary title of Emeritus Chancellor. She is also Governor of the London School of Economics and the Open University. She is a founding member of Matrix Chambers in London from which she continues to practise as a barrister. Matrix was formed in 2000 specialising in human rights law, though members also practise in a range of areas of UK public and private law, the Law of the European Union and European Convention on Human Rights, and public international law.[6]

She specialises in employment, discrimination and public law and in this capacity has occasionally represented claimants taking cases against the UK government.[7]

Cherie Blair has appeared in a number of leading cases. A notable example before the European Court of Justice was concerned with discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. See ECJ Case C-249/96, Lisa Jacqueline Grant vs. South-West Trains Ltd. [4] In November 2007, she expressed interest in becoming a senior judge.[8]


In 2000, Cherie Blair was fined ten pounds for traveling by train between London and Luton without a valid ticket.[9] In 2002, Blair purchased two flats in Bristol with the assistance, it was alleged but later denied, of Peter Foster, a convicted Australian conman and boyfriend of Blair's friend Carole Caplin, who negotiated a discount for Blair.[10] Blair publicly apologised for her embarrassing connection to Foster, stating, "I did not think it was my business to choose my friends' friends".[10]

Her relationship with Carole Caplin has given rise to headlines in some newspapers, as Caplin is credited with introducing Blair to various New Age symbols and beliefs.[11]Reports of her New Age practices included an account of her 2001 holiday in Mexico, when she and her husband, wearing only swimming costumes, privately took part in a rebirthing procedure that involved smearing mud and fruit over each others' bodies while sitting in a steam bath.[12]

In 2002, she apologized after saying within hours of a Jerusalem blast that killed at least 19 people in reference to the Palestinian suicide bombers: "As long as young people feel they have no hope but to blow themselves up, we're never going to make progress, are we?".[13][14]

Cherie Blair has demanded that the Catholic Church reconsider its hardline stance against contraception, suggesting it could be holding some women back from pursuing a career.[15]

In January 2010 Cherie was alleged to have taken a man's religiosity into account when sparing him a custodial sentence for assault.[16][17] The Office for Judicial Complaints, released a statement saying they had "received a number of complaints in relation to the comments" and that the matter was under investigation.[18] Alan King, a freelance legal and political journalist in an article on the The website considered the details of the case and compared the case to similar cases and came to the conclusion that, "There is also no reason to regard the suspension of Mr Miah’s six month custodial sentence as unduly lenient or particularly lenient at all; especially when the suspension of the sentence was accompanied by 200 hours of community service."[19]


Cherie Blair features as a character in Chris Bush and Ian McCluskey's highly acclaimed production TONY! The Blair Musical,[20] Played by Helen McCrory, Blair also features as a character in the The Queen (2006) starring Dame Helen Mirren about the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and is portrayed as a fierce anti-monarchist. McCrory is set to play her again in the upcoming film The Special Relationship.

Robert Harris's fictional thriller, The Ghost, features a pivotal character, Ruth Lang, inspired by Blair,[21] who is revealed to be under the influence of the C.I.A.

Phoebe Nicholls played her in The Trial of Tony Blair (2007).

Awards and recognition

Cherie Blair has been awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill medal in recognition of her high ideals and courageous actions.[22]


Cherie Blair is a patron of Breast Cancer Care a UK breast cancer information and support charity, and Jospice, the international hospice organisation based in her home town of Crosby, Merseyside.[23]

Cherie Blair's foundation - Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) [24]

It has also been reported that Mrs Blair recently became a patron of the London Oratory School Schola, a famous boys' choir whose other patrons include actor Simon Callow, composer James MacMillan and Princess Michael of Kent.


On July 16, 2009, it was announced that Mrs Blair had been diagnosed with the suspected disease swine flu. She cancelled many public engagements because of the illness and doctors gave her a course of Tamiflu. She also cancelled a visit to Liverpool's Hope University at which she was to receive an honorary degree for her work in human rights and support for the university.[25] [26]


Blair published her memoirs in late May 2008, entitled: Speaking for Myself: The Autobiography of Cherie Blair, and the book was listed as a Sunday Times bestseller. Interviewed about the book by Carole MacNeil on the Canadian network CBC Television on 1 June 2008, Blair stated that she felt most of the controversy about her in the British media was due to her pioneering role as the first wife of a British Prime Minister who had her own career, with the media simply not knowing how to treat her fairly and objectively.[27]


  • Miss Cherie Booth (1954-1980)
  • Mrs Tony Blair (1980-)
  • Cherie Booth QC (1995-)


  1. ^ Tony Blair could become Roman Catholic in time to celebrate Christmas Mass
  2. ^ "Profile: Cherie Blair", BBC, 19 June 2002
  3. ^ [1], 'Cherie Blair plans to be Gordon Brown's secret weapon at the election'
  4. ^ [2], 'Yes, I am a socialist,' Guardian, 17 May 2008
  5. ^ [3], 'Cherie tackles street crime with Channel 4,' Guardian, 26 March 2008
  6. ^ "Areas Of Practice", Matrix Chambers
  7. ^ "Purja and Ors v Ministry of Defence", British and Irish Legal Information Institute, 21 February 2003
  8. ^ "Me a top judge? Maybe, says Cherie". Daily Mail. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Cherie says 'sorry' for Foster dealings", BBC, 10 December 2002
  11. ^ "Ev'rybody must get stones", The Observer, 8 December 2002
  12. ^ How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World, Francis Wheen, Harper Perennial 2004, ISBN 0-00-714097-5
  13. ^ Cherie under attack: from fur in flight to freebies", The Guardian, 9 February 2005.
  14. ^ PM's wife 'sorry' in suicide bomb row", BBC News, 18 June 2002.
  15. ^ Blair: end Church’s hard line on birth control
  16. ^ Complaint after Cherie Booth spares religious man jail, BBC, 4 February 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  17. ^ Secular society upset by Judge Cherie decision, Jerome Taylor, The Independent, 4 February 2010
  18. ^ "Statement from the office of judicial complaints". OJC. February 10, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  19. ^ "A “legitimate question” for Cherie Booth". The Lawyer. February 15, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Tony Blair: The Musical; Tony! The Blair Musical", The Times, 10 August 2007. Accessed 2008-06-01
  21. ^ "The PM, his glamorous aide and a jealous wife... but it's just a novel", MailOnline, 18 September 2007. Accessed 2008-06-01
  22. ^ Historic Hyde Park 2007 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medalists announced
  23. ^ Cherie Blair opens extension at Jospice in Thornton YouTube, 1 Jun 2009
  24. ^
  25. ^ Cherie Blair Suffering from Swine Flu Daily Mail 16, July 2009
  26. ^ Cherie Blair 'suffering from swine flu' Times 16, July 2009
  27. ^ CBC Television, June 1, 2008; interview by Carole MacNeil

External links

The following links were last verified 14 December 2006.
Academic offices
Preceded by
John Moores
Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University
Succeeded by
Brian May
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Norma Major
Spouse of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Sarah Brown


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Cherie Blair

Cherie Blair, known professionally as Cherie Booth (born 23 September 1954) is a British barrister. She is better known as the wife of the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. She also thought of a political career and was a Labour Party candidate in 1983, but has concentrated on her legal career.


  • As long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up you are never going to make progress.
    • Charles Reiss, Hugh Muir, "Cherie suicide bombing gaffe", Evening Standard, 18 June 2002, p. 1
    • Speech at the launch of Medical Aid for Palestinians charity, 18 June 2002, referring to Palestinian suicide bombers; she later apologised for any offence caused.
  • It is not fair to Tony or to the Government that the entire focus of political debate at the moment is about me. I know I'm in a very special position, I'm the wife of the Prime Minister, I have an interesting job and a wonderful family, but I also know I am not Superwoman. The reality of my daily life is that I'm juggling a lot of balls in the air. Some of you must experience that.
    • "'Maybe I should have asked more questions'", The Times, 11 December 2002, p. 4.
    • Address to the 'Partners in Excellence' awards presentation, 10 December 2002, commenting on the scandal of her use of convicted fraudster Peter Foster to help her buy two flats in Bristol.
  • My immediate instinct when faced with the questions from The Mail on Sunday ten days ago was to protect my family's privacy and particularly my son in his first term at university, living away from home.
    • Ibid.
    • Cherie's voice broke when she referred to her son leaving home.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Cherie Blair
Born September 23, 1954 (1954-09-23) (age 56)
Bury, England, United Kingdom
Spouse Tony Blair
Children Euan Blair
Nicky Blair
Kathryn Blair
Leo Blair
Relatives Anthony Booth (father)
Gale Smith (mother)

Cherie Blair, QC was born September 23 1954 in Bury, England. She is a barrister. Blair is the wife of Tony Blair, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and daughter of the actor Tony Booth.

She gained a first class degree from the London School of Economics.

She qualified as a barrister in 1976, and took silk in 1995. In 1999 she became a Recorder in the County Court and Crown Court.

Blair specialises in Human Rights law

Other websites


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