Blair: Brown was "maddening", with "zero emotional intelligence"

Blair: Brown was "maddening", with "zero emotional intelligence"

Former British Prime Minister said his successor Gordon Brown was a "strange guy", "difficult" and "maddening" in an interview ahead of the publication of his memoirs on Wednesday, DPA reported.

In damning remarks that are likely to hit Brown's already critical standing in Britain he says Brown's time as prime minister was "never going to work", and claims Brown lacked political instinct "at the human gut level", the BBC reports.

"Political calculation, yes. Political feelings, no. Analytical intelligence, absolutely. Emotional intelligence, zero," he described Brown who followed Blair as premier in 2007.

The contents of Blairs book which is entitle A Journey had been at the centre of intense speculation but had been kept closely guarded ahead of Wednesday's publication.

Speaking about Brown, who was chancellor under his government, Blair said: "Was he difficult, at times maddening? Yes. But he was also strong, capable and brilliant, and those were qualities for which I never lost respect."

He claims it would have been difficult to sack Brown who he said commanded strong support within the party and the media.

His relationship with Brown had been "frankly hard, going on impossible", he said. However, Brown had also been "an immense source of strength" during his government.

In the memoir, Blair also defends his decision to join the US campaign against Iraq in 2003 to defeat the regime of former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.

He insisted leaving Hussein in power would have been a bigger security risk, but admitted he had not anticipated the role of terror network al-Qaeda ahead of the conflict.

Speaking of his personal "anguish" at the loss of life in Iraq, he said: "I feel desperately sorry for them, sorry for the lives cut short, sorry for the families whose bereavement is made worse by the controversy over why their loved ones died, sorry for the utterly unfair selection that the loss should be theirs."

Blair also warned that Iran posed a nuclear threat and it may be possible that a military intervention was needed against the country.

The full interview is scheduled to be broadcast later in the day.

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