Tony Blair has driven the rise of Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn, says political commentator

'Hostility to Tony Blair has driven the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon', says political commentator

Tony Blair

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tony Blair was one of the causes of Brexit and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, says a political commentator. 

The Independent's chief political commentator John Rentoul looked back on the momentous events of 2016 with James Max, and discussed what's to come in 2017. 

Rentoul told James that the immigration policies propounded by the Blair government played a key role in ratcheting up popular resentment towards the EU, culminating in June's shock vote to break with Brussels.

Blair rode into power in 1997 on a tide of popular goodwill, but left 10 years later amid an incessant storm of criticism whipped up by his invasion of Iraq and perceived failure to deliver tangible social change.

Rentoul believes this hositlity paved the way for the rise of Mr Corbyn, who remains one of Blair's biggest critics on Iraq and purports to return Labour to the hard left.

However Rentoul believes the Corbyn phenomenon will eventually collapse, when his supporters "realise that it’s not working and finally withdraw their support. This year was too early."

Looking ahead to next year, Rentoul believes the most important thing will be what happens in Germany, which remains at the epicentre of the migrant crisis and has witnessed sustained unrest in recent months.

Listen to the full audio above