David Cameron made clear that he would not describe Tony Blair as a friend or himself as the “heir” to his predecessor in Downing Street, after the pair met for talks on the Middle East peace process.
The two men spoke for about 20 minutes at the British consulate in Jerusalem during the current Prime Minister’s two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Mr Blair, who was premier from 1997-2007 and is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the UN, US, EU and Russia, briefed Mr Cameron on the peace process and efforts to boost Palestinian economic development.
Asked later by Sky News if they had a friendly relationship, Mr Cameron said: “I wouldn’t say it is about friendship. We were very vigorous opponents. I remember facing him across the Despatch Box every Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions.
“We come from different political parties, different political traditions and there are many things we disagreed about, but we both want a two-state solution and he has got a contribution to help bring that about by helping generate Palestinian economic growth.
“I obviously listen to Tony Blair’s advice, as I listen to many people’s advice.”
And asked by the BBC if he still saw himself as the “heir to Blair”, Mr Cameron said: “That’s not something I ever recall saying.
“I wanted to be the replacement to Tony Blair and I’m pleased to say, as Prime Minister, that’s what I am.”