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Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 12:25 GMT
Cherie's Flat Controversy
The prime minister's wife is embroiled in controversy after it is confirmed that a convicted fraudster, Peter Foster, helped her buy two flats in Bristol, where her son is at university.


16 December 2002
Foster denies targeting Blairs

Peter Foster
Peter Foster

Convicted fraudster Peter Foster makes a televised statement in which he denies targeting the Blairs. But he says he did receive "professional" advice from Cherie Blair about his deportation case.





12 December 2002
Solicitor backs Cherie's story

Peter Foster
Peter Foster
Peter Foster's solicitor has insisted his firm had no advice from Cherie Blair in the convicted fraudster's deportation case. David Janes' statement came after a newspaper claimed Mrs Blair had been involved in the case.




11 December 2002
Tony Blair blames press for 'distortion'

Tony Blair
"This has been a horrible time"
Following his wife's emotional public statement, Tony Blair speaks of the pride he feels for Cherie. But despite his effort to draw a line under the affair the Conservatives still press for a public inquiry.




10 December 2002
Tories call for an inquiry

Cherie Blair
Statement lasted eight minutes
The prime minister's wife takes the opportunity of an awards ceremony to apologise for her conduct. In an emotional statement she said her motive was to protect her privacy and help a friend.








9 December 2002
PM defends wife in fraudster row

Prime Minister Tony Blair
Mr Blair says the matter was handled 'properly'

Tony Blair joins the row over his wife's involvement with Peter Foster's deportation case, insisting it was "handled entirely properly". He was speaking after it emerged his wife had phoned the fraudster's solicitors.






8 December 2002
Fresh Cherie claims denied

Peter Foster
Peter Foster describes his role as an advisor

Number 10 dismisses suggestions that the prime minister's wife backed an attempt by a convicted fraudster to market a healthy lifestyle programme for children. The Sunday Times alleged Mr Foster boasted how he hoped to get her support.





6 December 2002
No 10 tries to quell flat row

Flats in Bristol
The block of flats at the centre of the row

Downing Street insists there was nothing wrong in Cherie Blair's purchase of two flats with the help of a convicted fraudster. She has faced criticism after confirming Peter Foster had helped her despite earlier denials from the Number 10 press office.




5 December 2002
Cherie says sorry for 'misunderstanding'

Cherie Blair
Mrs Blair helps switch on the Downing St lights

Mrs Blair says that if she has caused "any misunderstanding between the Number 10 press office and the media... I regret that". It comes after the publication of e-mails between her and Mr Foster when Downing Street had denied any connection between the pair.




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