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27 of October, 12:33

Blair to reap 9 mln dlr advance for memoirs
Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, has agreed to sell his planned memoir for a lucrative advance of around nine million dollars to Random House.

Citing a person with knowledge of the negotiations, The New York Times on Friday said publication of Blair`s memoir -- chronicling his ten years on Downing Street -- is not likely to occur for a few years.

The Times said the nine million dollar advance was secured following a four-day auction.

"I hope my memoirs will provide a serious and thoughtful, but also entertaining, reflection on my time as a member of parliament and as prime minister," Blair, who is now international envoy to the Middle East for the so-called Quartet, said in a statement released Thursday.

Random House, which confirmed a day ago that it had won the bid to publish Blair`s memoir, had declined to say how much it was paying the former British leader for publication rights for the as yet unwritten book.

Blair and Britain`s current prime minister, Gordon Brown, are credited with jointly reforming the Labour Party and bringing it to the centre ground, helping it win three consecutive general election victories since 1997.

Blair stepped down from office in June after his popularity plummeted in Britain due to his support for President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

Random House is a division of German media giant Bertelsmann AG.

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