rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » UK bar worker attempts citizen's arrest of Tony Blair

UK bar worker attempts citizen's arrest of Tony Blair

January 21, 2014 22:47 IST

Tony Blair was out for what he thought would be a quiet family meal at a trendy east London restaurant when a bar worker attempted a "citizen's arrest" of the former British prime minister.

Twiggy Garcia demanded that Blair accompany him to a police station as he was a "war criminal" who had launched an "unprovoked war against Iraq".

"I went over to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Mr Blair, this is a citizen's arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq. I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge," Garcia told Vice magazine.

Blair, who was dining at Tramshed in Shoreditch last Friday, refused the request and tried to placate him by engaging him on a debate on Syria.

"I think you should be more concerned about Syria," Blair said. One of Blair's sons then got up and went to get the family's security team from downstairs, prompting Garcia to make a hurried exit.

He has since resigned from his job at Tramshed, which is owned by British chef and restaurateur Mark Hix. The United Kingdom’s Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 gives citizens the right to detain a person whom they believe has broken the law.

Garcia is the fifth person who has attempted to make a citizen's arrest of Blair.

He added, "I feel great. Lots of people have been contacting me to say well done. I'm still in disbelief that I got the opportunity to citizen's arrest the former prime minister.”

"It all panned out pretty much how I thought it would, except that I didn't expect him to start debating with me," he said.

A spokesperson for Blair said, "There is nothing to report here apart from fact that Mr Blair did offer to discuss the issue -- that offer was declined and the individual walked off. Nothing else happened. Everyone is fine and they had a great time at the restaurant."

A Tramshed spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.

Aditi Khanna in London