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Monday, 31 July, 2000, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Blair cancels holiday photo-shoot
Blair and Leo
Mr Blair and Leo in Downing Street, pictured in May
Tony Blair has cancelled the media's annual holiday-photo opportunity with his family in a row over unauthorised snaps of his new baby son, Leo.

Unlike previous years, camera crews and newspaper photographers will not be invited to take pictures of the Blairs as they begin their summer break on Saturday.

The cancellation was prompted by the publication in three Sunday newspapers of Leo being taken to his christening.

Mr and Mrs Blair with baby Leo
Mr and Mrs Blair with Leo soon after he was born
Though the media had not been invited to the christening, the pictures were taken in a public place as Mr and Mrs Blair walked past several hundred on-lookers who had gathered to see the couple and their baby arrive.

Downing Street insists it is not making a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, but says it has asked for guidance on ensuring their children's privacy in future.

Leo was christened in a Roman Catholic church in Mr Blair's Sedgefield constituency on Saturday.

Photographed in his smiling father's arms, he was bundled up in a long, white christening dress.

No deal this year

The prime minister's official spokesman conceded that the photos were inoffensive, but said the Blairs did not want to be seen to be exploiting the event.

"We don't want to be churlish here, or heavy-handed," Mr Blair's spokesman said.

"But if you give a green light to one event, it could quickly become open season."

He said that an established deal with the media, where the Blairs pose for a holiday picture on condition they are then left alone, would not take place this year.

The family are going on a three-week break in Italy and France.

The Blairs have only permitted photographs of their children to be taken in restricted circumstances. Twelve-week-old Leo has been seen in public only a few times.

Earlier this month their oldest son, Euan, 16, was arrested and reprimanded by police after being found drunk and incapable in central London's Leicester Square.

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See also:

30 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Blair's photo complaint defended
22 May 00 | UK Politics
All hail the lovely Leo
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