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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 10:14 GMT
PM praises Brown's Christmas card
Tony Blair's Christmas card

Tony Blair has described his official Christmas card as less interesting than Chancellor Gordon Brown's.

The Downing Street image shows Mr Blair standing on a staircase slightly above his wife with his arm around her.

The banister is festooned with garlands while images of past leaders decorate the wall behind them.

He had chosen the "very simple" image with Cherie, but said: "It doesn't sound half as interesting as Gordon's one was."

The chancellor's card featured an image by well known children's illustrator Axel Scheffler of a Christmas tree with children reading books around it - and one child in a corner looking perplexed at a red dispatch box.

Gordon Brown's Christmas card
Mr Brown's Christmas card included the red dispatch box

In Mr Blair's card, the message inside says: "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year."

Asked about his role in choosing the image at the CBI business conference, Mr Blair said: "I'm sure this sounds like a real politician's answer, but it's the only way the prime minister does it: My wife and I chose it together.

"I mean, how pathetic, is that?"

In previous years, the prime minister's family of four children have been included.

Some newspapers have interpreted of the setting for the Blairs' card - with the portraits of previous No 10 residents - as recognition of Mr Blair's forthcoming departure from the PM's job.

Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell's cards have yet to released.

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