Ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair's advisors are warning him of the danger of being upstaged by the late Margaret Thatcher at her funeral, at which he will be expected to give a televised speech.
He is known to have had an emergency brainstorming session with his old cronies Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson to avert any such calamity. "Mr Blair is aware of Baroness Thatcher's incomparable contribution to preparing Britain for New Labour", said one confidant of the ex-PM, "but people can easily get carried away at emotional events like funerals and forget who really deserves credit for making Britain what it is today".
It is understood that Blair's speaking fees have now slipped below the £50000 mark, and if Lady Thatcher's death is not handled properly it could further dent his status and pose a serious risk to his earning potential and property acquisitions. But he is said to be confident of using his address at the funeral to avert any disproportionate adulation of his deceased predecessor, whilst respectfully conceding her unchallenged place in British history.
He will seek gently to deflect attention away from her political achievements, lest the British people lose their perspective on things. "It would be best to stress her contributions to life outside politics", he has told his colleagues. "It's not widely known that she invented soft-scoop ice cream, for instance. In a very real sense, she was the people's industrial chemist".