Thom Yorke has claimed he was pressured to meet Tony Blair

The Radiohead frontman has claimed the former PM’s advisors attempted to force a meeting in 2003

The Guardian has reported that Thom Yorke was pressurised by the former Labour government into a meeting with Tony Blair in 2003.

In an interview with Télérama, Yorke recalled the period he spent as the spokesman for The Big Ask in association with Friends of the Earth.

“The Sunday Times camped out in front of my parents’ house all day, attempting to get my friends to dish the dirt,” he told the French magazine. “Then it got into this big fight with Tony Blair’s advisors and a whole blackmail scenario ensued. We were in the midst of the Iraq War and The Big Ask campaign was proving very successful. So Blair said: ‘‘I should meet this guy’’. Then Blair’s advisors tried to blackmail me, saying: ‘‘if you don’t agree to meet the Prime Minister, Friends of the Earth will be denied all access to him.’’ because of the Iraq war, I didn’t want to do it. I felt it was morally unacceptable for me to be photographed with Blair.”

The rest of the interview, also featuring Guardian columnist George Monbiot, reveals that Yorke is a Banksy fan, his difficulties rambling without “the sharp end of a farmer’s tongue”, and why there needs to be  “a few more tears on the UN floor”. Read it here.