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Blair faces inquiry into spiralling security costs: Report

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a parliamentary probe into the spiralling cost of his security estimated at six million pounds a year, a media report said.

world Updated: Jul 18, 2010 12:43 IST

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a parliamentary probe into the spiralling cost of his security estimated at six million pounds a year, a media report said.

According to the Daily Express, Tory MP Mark Field will this week table a question in the House of Commons about the costs of protecting Blair, estimated at six million pounds a year and rising.

He says the state should only pay to protect one of his homes and all other security should be met from the money he earns from capitalising on his years as prime minister.

The furore came after at least six police officers were photographed guarding the rear of Blair's London home and local residents complained the presence of such large numbers of armed officers is making them nervous as well as affecting the once calm atmosphere of the upmarket neighbourhood.

Blair also faces questions about the purpose of his meeting with Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi in June at which he was said to have been entertained "like a brother", the report said.

With police forces facing drastic cutbacks, neighbours living near Blair's four-million-pound town house in Connaught Square, London, are astonished at the array of firepower being used to protect him.

One neighbour said: "The armed officers sit at the back in full view of everyone with their guns on a table, sipping coffee. They work shifts so we think there are 20 or so involved."

A spokesperson for Blair didn't comment.