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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Cherie hits out at hair criticism
Cherie Blair's hair dos and don'ts

Cherie Blair has hit out at criticism of the 7,700 Labour spent on her hairdressing during the election.

In a BBC World Service interview, she said the attacks on her hair bill were a "load of fuss about trivia".

Mrs Blair, who is a leading human rights barrister, also rejected suggestions there was "trench warfare" between the government and judges.

Despite recent anti-terror measures, she said Britain's status as the "home of human rights" was not in danger.

'Something about women'

Mrs Blair has faced fierce attacks in the media, with one newspaper branding her the "Marie-Antoinette of British politics".

Some Labour MPs and members complained when it emerged that the party had paid 7,700 for her election hairdressing.

But Mrs Blair said: "Honestly - what a load of fuss about trivia! It's something about women, isn't it?

"Who noticed, or who made a big fuss, that the Tory Party paid 3,500 for the leader of the Opposition's make-up?

"But women and their hair, women and their appearance - it's part of the thing that we seem to suffer."

She continued: "You just have to accept that your appearance is a matter of interest to the press. I don't actually think the most interesting thing about me is my appearance. But there you are."

Conflict with judges?

Mrs Blair, who is a QC, said she had never turned down a case because it might embarrass her husband.

She used the "cab-rank rule" where barristers take the cases that come along if they are competent to do them.

"I don't recognise that description of 'trench warfare' between the judiciary and the government," she said.

"The government and the judiciary have different roles, but both of them have the same aim: which is to ensure the safety, the security and respect for the human rights of everybody in our country."

Mrs Blair also talked of fitting family life around the prime minister's busy job.

Having her fourth child, Leo, at the age of 45 was "a tremendously healing thing", she said.

And it was "absolutely" for her husband to decide when he wanted to leave Downing Street.

"I wouldn't expect him to tell me what to do with my career. And I don't think it's for me to tell him what to do in his career, either," she said.

The interview will be broadcast on the BBC World Service at 1730 BST and repeated at 2230 BST on Saturday. It will be repeated again at 0730 BST and 1230 BST on Sunday.

Scenes of the Blairs after last year's election win

Blairs' family life under spotlight
18 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
Cherie rules out political career
23 Dec 05 |  UK Politics
Blair declares Cherie's earnings
16 Nov 05 |  UK Politics

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