Sir Tony Blair and Cherie claimed close to £80,000 from the furlough scheme, reports suggest.
The former prime minister has been in the headlines recently, as more than one million people signed a petition to strip him of his newly-awarded knighthood.
And now it has emerged that the Blairs claimed £76,000 from the Treasury scheme to pay some of their furloughed staff.
Sir Tony is believed to have an estimated wealth of around £60 million – and has as many as ten homes.
A million signatures
A spokesperson for the Blairs said in a statement: “In relation to the December to September months it was just over £35,000, an average of around £3,500 a month, in respect of three members of staff, based in the Harcourt Street office, who were unable to fulfil their usual duties because of Covid restrictions.
“The previous year’s figure was approximately £41,000 for five members of staff. They have all received their full pay and continue do so, regardless of the scheme ending.”
Blair was recently appointed by the Queen a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
But a Change.org petition which aims to strip the former prime minister of his appointment reached one million signatures on Friday.
A statement accompanying the petition said: “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society.
“He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.
“Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.
“We petition the Prime Minister to petition Her Majesty to have this honour removed.”
‘Made Britain better’
The knighthood has provoked debate about the honours system, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying Boris Johnson has not “earned the right” of a knighthood after leaving office.
But Sir Keir insisted his predecessor at the top of the Labour Party had earned his knighthood, arguing he “made Britain a better country”.
His former defence secretary Geoff Hoon wrote in his recent memoir his office was ordered by Downing Street to burn a secret memo saying the 2003 Iraq invasion could be illegal, according to the Daily Mail.
Sir Tony, who left Downing Street more than 14 years ago, is one of three new appointments that were announced by the palace.
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