Exactly 20 years since his first Labour victory, former Prime Minister Tony Blair has revealed his hopes for a political comeback focused on influencing the course of Brexit.
Blair, who resigned in mid-2007 after 10 years in Downing Street, told the Mirror he would be "getting out more and reconnecting with voters".
The former Labour leader has become an increasingly prominent figure since the Brexit vote, launching a new policy organisation "Renewing The Centre" in mid-March and admitting he was tempted to make a return just over a week ago.
In an interview marking the anniversary of his first election win, Blair ruled out a bid to return as an MP, but said he was worried about the potential damage of quitting the Single Market.
"I am going to be taking an active part in trying to shape the policy debate, and that means getting out into the country and reconnecting...This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in politics. You need to get your hands dirty, and I will," he said.
He added: “I know the moment I stick my head out the door I’ll get a bucket of wotsit poured all over me, but I really do feel passionate about this.
“I don’t want to be in the situation where we pass through this moment of history and I hadn’t said anything because that would mean I didn’t care about this country. I do.”
And with the UK heading to the polls on 8 June for an early General Election, Blair admitted that the impact of an intervention on his part on Labour's performance may be "mixed".
"Some people will say it harms it, and others will say the opposite. And by the way, it's more mixed than you might think," he said.