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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
No 10 confirms Blair in Barbados
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Downing Street has lifted a news blackout on Tony Blair's summer holiday to confirm he is in Barbados.

The prime minister's press chief David Hill wrote to news organisations in July asking them not to report the holiday location for security reasons.

That advice changed after Mr Blair attended a public World War Two commemoration event on Sunday.

The news blackout had been widely respected, although some photographs of the family have been published.

We are asking people to refrain from giving the precise location
No 10 request to media

On Monday a Number 10 spokeswoman said: "Since the prime minister arrived in Barbados, the Barbados Legion asked the prime minister to attend a memorial service yesterday evening, London time, to mark the contribution of Barbadians to the war.

"The prime minister accepted the invitation to attend. As this was a public event, his protection team accept the location of his holiday will be reported."


Asked how the Barbados Legion knew he was on the island, his spokeswoman replied: "I don't know how the Barbados Legion knew he was there but you can imagine it is a small place and obviously people get to know he's there.

"He was invited by local people to attend the ceremony. He was on the island and he attended."

Downing Street has now asked the media "to exercise restraint in not being more specific than saying he is in Barbados".

The spokeswoman confirmed that Mr Blair had paid his way: "The PM and his family travelled on a scheduled flight to Barbados and they paid the costs of that flight."

The No 10 spokeswoman would not say when the Blairs' holiday, which began on 6 August, would end.

But she did not deny John Prescott's assertion that "he expected the PM back towards the end of the month".

Mr Blair is still expected, as usual, to spend a few days at Balmoral with the Queen, although no dates were given.

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