06.09.10 | Philip Jones
Tony Blair has cancelled his book signing at Waterstone’s Piccadilly. The former prime minister said this morning that he was thinking about whether to go ahead with the controversial book signing after violent demonstrations at a signing held in Eason’s in Ireland over the weekend.
Blair has now confirmed that Wednesday’s signing will not go ahead because he does not want the public disrupted by the “inevitable” demonstrations.
In a statement, Blair said: “I very much enjoyed meeting my readers in Dublin and was looking forward to doing the same in London. However, I have decided not to go ahead with the signing as I don’t want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protestors. I know the Metropolitan Police would, as ever, have done a superb job in managing any disruption but I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book signing. I’m really sorry for those – as ever the majority – who would have come to have their books signed by me in person. I hope they understand.”
Waterstone’s managing director, Dominic Myers, said: “Our job as a bookseller is to bring books to our customers, and where possible enable them to meet authors as well. It is a matter of regret that because of the likely actions of a minority, our customers are now not able to meet a three-times elected prime minister of the United Kingdom, whose book has become our fastest-selling autobiography ever.”
Random House has said that a limited number of signed copies of A Journey will be available from the Piccadilly store from 9am on Thursday, 9th September. These will be sold on a first come, first served basis, one copy per customer.