Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Blair urged to 'reconsider' job

Lord Levy
Lord Levy said if Mr Blair should look at if he could really make a difference

Lord Levy has told the BBC he thinks Tony Blair should consider whether to continue his job as an envoy for the Middle East Quartet.

The former prime minister's ally said he should examine if he had "the time and tools" to help the peace process.

Lord Levy, the former prime minister's representative to the region, was speaking on BBC Radio 4's Week in Westminster programme.

He said he should think about what his role was "precisely" going to be.

Asked if he thought Mr Blair should step down, Lord Levy said: "As a friend I would say to him, do you feel you have the time, do you feel you have the tools, to really make a difference in this arena?

"And if you do, then what are you going to do and how are you going to go about it?"

If the boxes are ticked I would encourage him to try and play a role
Lord Levy

Lord Levy said if there were not enough "ticks in all those boxes" he would advise someone else should take over.

Mr Blair has been criticised for trying to combine business roles, speechmaking and work with his faith foundation with trying to resolve the dispute.

But Lord Levy added that if the former prime minister still felt he could make a contribution he should continue.

"If the boxes are ticked I would encourage him to try and play a role, but that role would very much be subsidiary to the secretary of state, the American secretary of state Clinton and of course to the American presidential envoy George Mitchell."

The quartet, which includes Russia, the US, the EU and the UN, was criticised last year for "losing its grip" on the situation.

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