Whopper of the Week: Cherie Blair
Britain's first lady fibs about who helped buy her Bristol flat.
"Should it be the case that [Tony and Cherie Blair] have purchased any property, the negotiations for that would have been conducted by Mrs. Blair and her legal advisers."
—Spokesperson forBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair, as quoted byMichael White and Angelique Chrisafis in "Blairs Bought Flat 'Without Conman's Help,' " in the Dec. 3 Guardian. Ten Downing Street was responding to a report in the Dec. 1 Mail on Sunday that Peter Foster, who has previously been jailed in Britain, the United States, and Australia, negotiated the purchase of a Bristol flat on Cherie Blair's behalf. The flat is for the Blairs' son Euan to live in while he attends college.
"I'll deal with the letting agent. You can relax."
—Oct. 31 e-mail from Peter Foster to Cherie Blair concerning the Blairs' rental of the Bristol flat, as quoted by Gordon Rayner and Richard Shears, "Cherie, a Crook, and the Proof No. 10 Lied," in the Dec. 5 Daily Mail.
"I cannot thank you enough Peter for taking these negotiations over for me"
—Nov. 9 e-mail from Cherie Blair to Foster, as reported in the Dec. 5 Daily Mail story.
"He started to offer me what seemed like helpful advice, which at the time I saw no reason to reject. He was not my financial adviser, but I should not have allowed a situation to develop where Tony's spokesman said he played no part in the negotiations and I take full responsibility for that."
—Dec. 10 televised statement by Cherie Blair.
Got a whopper? Send it to email@example.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.