Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British Labour Party politician, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He now runs a consultancy business and performs charitable work. Blair was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. Blair led Labour to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, winning 418 seats, the most the party has ever held. The party went on to win two more elections under his leadership: in 2001, in which it won another landslide victory, and in 2005, with a reduced majority.
Blair was elected Labour Party leader in the leadership election of July 1994, following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under his leadership, the party used the phrase “New Labour” to distance it from previous Labour policies. Blair declared opposition to the traditional conception of socialism, and declared support for a new conception that he referred to as “social-ism”, involving politics that recognised individuals as socially interdependent, and advocated social justice, cohesion, equal worth of each citizen, and equal opportunity. Critics of Blair denounced him for having the Labour Party abandon genuine socialism and accepting capitalism. Supporters, including the party’s public opinion pollster Philip Gould, stated that after four consecutive general election defeats, Labour had to demonstrate that it had made a decisive break from its left-wing past, in order to win again.