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Tony Blair laughs off plagiarism claims

14th September 2010

Tony Blair has laughed off claims that part of his memoirs plagiarises a scene in the 2006 film The Queen.

In an interview with Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 2, Blair was questioned about an account of his first meeting with the Queen, when he claims she said: 'You are my tenth prime minister. The first was Winston. That was before you were born.'

Peter Morgan, who wrote the script for The Queen, had pointed out that Blair's account is 'very similar' to a scene in the film, but the former prime minister said he had never even seen it.

He added, while laughing: 'I have told this story many times because I always think it's quite a funny story. Are you suggesting I plagiarised it from the film?'

Blair speculated that somebody had heard him tell the story before and relayed the information to Morgan, adding that he hoped the scriptwriter's accusations were 'tongue-in-cheek'.

Last night (September 13th) the former prime minister was in Philadelphia to receive the Liberty medal in recognition of his commitment to conflict resolution, particularly his involvement in the Good Friday agreement.

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