Tony Blair’s father Leo, who died today, was a man with a remarkable life story.
- He was given up for fostering by his parents – who were travelling performers - aged three months.
- He left school at 14 and joined the Young Communist League.
- He served in the Army in the Second World War.
- After the war he studied law in his spare time to become a barrister and later a law lecturer in Australia and at Durham University.
- He rose to chair the Durham Conservative Association and had aspirations to become a Tory MP.
- After his son became Labour leader, he joined the party shortly after.
- He sent a letter of congratulations to him on becoming PM - only to get a reply from Downing Street saying his idea was not something that No 10 could take up.
The former prime minister Tony Blair wrote in his autobiography that he shared many of the same traits as his father who was "motivated, determined with a hard-focused ambition".
Tony Blair's office has said: "Mr Blair's father, Leo, sadly passed away today. It was peaceful and Mr Blair was with him."
Tony Blair has released a statement about his "remarkable" father Leo, who has died aged 89:
The Times political reporter Laura Pitel reported yesterday that a message was read out on behalf of Mr Blair which said: "My father has been taken seriously ill and I wanted to be with him."
Tony Blair's father Leo has died, the former prime minister's office announced today.