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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Blair discovers joys of e-mailing
Tony Blair in 2000
Mr Blair is a self-confessed technophobe
Tony Blair has finally joined the computer age and has his own e-mail account, it has been revealed.

The prime minister has long been seen as a technophobe and was once described by his former spokesman, Alastair Campbell, as "a pen and paper man".

But Mr Blair has said he personally uses an e-mail account in the course of his official duties.

The revelation came in a parliamentary written answer to Conservative local government spokesman Caroline Spelman.

'Dark Ages'

Despite taking part in web chats - and spending millions promoting e-government initiatives - Mr Blair has always joked about his own lack of prowess with technology.

He recently told chat-show host Michael Parkinson he is such a technophobe he sometimes watches programmes at 10 Downing Street with no sound, because he cannot turn up the volume on the television set.

And, he added, he relies on his daughter Kathryn, 17, to load songs on to his iPod.

Mr Blair's former right hand man, Mr Campbell has also painted a picture of a computer-illiterate Downing Street machine.

"New Labour's so-called spin machine was reported to be carving out a new role for strategic communications in politics," he told a website in January.

"But the reality is the person directing that communications strategy was in the Dark Ages when it came to technology."

Mr Campbell said his aides would sift emails for him and type up handwritten replies.

"I should add that the prime minister is not much better," he added.

"He too is at heart a pen and paper man, the computer on his desk almost as idle as the one I used to have on mine."

John Prescott also recently seemed unembarrassed by his lack of IT skills, brushing off allegations about his private life made on various blogs.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme's John Humphrys: "I think it's called the internet, isn't it, or blogs or something. I've only just got used to letters, John, I haven't got into all this new technology."


SEE ALSO
Campbell says he never used net
21 Feb 06 |  UK Politics
Campbell: E-mail row 'silly fuss'
08 Feb 05 |  UK Politics

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