Tony Blair Asked Gaddafi to Stop Killing Libyan Protesters

Former prime minister Blair who has faced criticism over his relationship with the dictator, telephoned him twice to urge him to 'step back.' In an interview with the Times, Blair said that he was appalled by what has happened in Libya with Gaddafi ordering the killing of his own citizens.

Tony Blair telephoned the Libyan leader twice on Friday to try to persuade him to stop killing protesters. Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary, confirmed that the former prime minister had telephoned Gaddafi to urge him to abandon his "last-stand mentality".

Blair, who has been heavily criticised by David Cameron for shaking Gaddafi's hand in his tent on the outskirts of Tripoli in 2004 and 2007, initially telephoned the Libyan leader on Friday to urge him to cease attacking the protesters. The former PM then consulted the Foreign Office, which made clear that Britain wanted Gaddafi to stand down. Blair made a second telephone call to pass on the message.

Mandelson outlined the messages Blair passed to Gaddafi. Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, Mandelson said: "What he will have been saying is very clear. You have an option now. You know you can follow one course or the other. And what I want you to do or what everyone wants you to do and what your own people want you to do is to step back."