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Sleepless PM suffers ear-bashing from mother-in-law.

Mr Tony Blair today revealed that his job keeps him awake at night - and that his mother-in-law regularly lectures him about politics.

But the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie also disclosed that her mother, Mrs Gale Booth, makes up for the ear-bashing by turning up his trousers, buying him jumpers and fussing over him. The revelations come in a magazine interview, 12 of whose readers were invited to Downing Street to question the Blairs. "It used to be the kids that kept me awake at night, now it's the job," said Mr Blair.

"I wish I was good at catnapping but I'm not - once I'm awake, that's it. I can go for a few days without proper sleep but after that I really need to catch up.

"These days I do need less sleep and the job gives you a certain amount of adrenaline. I can get by on five hours a night for quite a long period of time, but I'm happy if I get more.

"When the kids were very young it was my job to get up to them. When the children were four, two and nothing, I was up virtually every night and usually two or three times a night."

Mrs Blair later hit back, telling the readers: "Well, he was a really supportive father, but as I was breastfeeding, it's not entirely true."

Questioned about pensions, Mr Blair replied: "My mother-in-law talks to me regularly over the breakfast table about pensioners' rights."

Mrs Blair added: "She does take him to task over Government policy sometimes. But I bet he didn't tell you that she turns up his trousers and buys him jumpers and generally fusses over him."

She also recalled her own political ambitions. "When I was 14, I told my classmates I would be Prime Minister and I do think it's amazing that I'm here."

But Mrs Blair ruled out a Hillary Clinton-style career after her husband leaves office.

"I think I'll have had my fill of politics by the time we leave Number 10," she said.
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Author:Smith, Jon
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 6, 1999
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