Tony Blair yesterday faced accusations of ‘megalomania’ over an interview in which he vowed to set up his own ‘leaders club’ of ex-statesmen – and appeared to dismiss the need for democracy.

The ex-PM said he wanted to create a ‘cadre’ of former leaders to advise governments, saying: ‘You can get some of these guys who are fantastic executors. Why not use their talents and their experience?’

He added: ‘Why not come and help the president of this country or the prime minister of that country?’

Tony Blair on the cover of Newsweek. The former Prime Minister said his ideas of leadership were ‘close to a benevolent dictatorship’

In the profile in the American magazine Newsweek, Mr Blair also praised the authoritarian military regime in Egypt, which has been accused of human rights abuses, saying: ‘Yes, democracy is important, but democracy is not on its own sufficient. You need effective government taking effective decisions.’

The article – which described Mr Blair’s ideas of leadership as ‘close to a benevolent dictatorship’ – added that Mr Blair had concluded from the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001, when the army slaughtered ten million sheep and cattle, that soldiers were better at emergencies than governments.

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