Former British prime minister Tony Blair has shelved his plans to sign copies of his autobiography in the UK, following last week’s public disturbances in Dublin.
An event scheduled to take place in central London this morning has been cancelled, however it's understood that hundreds of signed copies of Blair's book will made available to book-buyers on Thursday.
In a statement to the press Blair said that he had enjoyed meeting his readers in Dublin. However, he added, he has decided not to go ahead with the signing in London.
'I don’t want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protesters. I know the Metropolitan Police would, as ever, have done a superb job in managing any disruption, but I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources simply for a book-signing.'
Responding to his statement Waterstones book company managing director Dominic Myers told the press: 'Our job as a bookseller is to bring books to our customers, and where possible enable them to meet authors as well. It is a matter of regret that our customers are now not able to meet a three-times elected prime minister whose book has become our fastest-selling autobiography ever.'
Although the British press still speculate that Blair still holds political ambitions in the UK, Blair denied this: 'Frankly, I doubt there is a way I can play a part. But if I can, I would love to,' he said.