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In an illustration of how the former Prime Minister has fallen on hard times, Tony Blair’s wife and international barrister Cherie Blair is reportedly taking a job in a supermarket to make ends meet.

The former Labour leader’s wife has announced she is working for a new business set up by the US millionaire Gail Lese who, to rub salt into the wounds, is also a former Republican political candidate and supporter of Sarah Palin.

According to friends, the new job is necessary as the former first couple have fallen on hard financial times since exiting number 10. One close friend of Mrs Blair explained:

Cherie and Tony are struggling on an income of just 12 million a year. Out of that they’ve had to pay as much as 300,000 in tax, which along with other expenses means they’ll have to get by on just 11and a half million a year. There was no other option but for Cherie to give up her dream of continuing her work as an international barrister and get a job in Tesco’s instead.

Mrs Blair has attempted to put a brave face on the humiliating come down by saying her job title will actually be ‘non-executive director’, and one of the members of its ‘core management team’. However, her friend explained this was simply a way of saving face:

Cherie’s trying to make out she’s got a more important job because she’s so desperate and it’s true that her new employer no doubt would like to use her high profile for useful publicity but everyone knows she’s going to just be working as a checkout girl.

Some doubts have been expressed by retail experts whether Mrs Blair has the relevant experience to be able to successfully operate a cash register. One expert explained:

She’s never worked in retail before so chances are she’s going to find it hard, especially when she discovers that champagne breaks for supermarket staff are few and far between. I wouldn’t be surprised if she only lasts a short time before she has to admit she’s not cut out for such work.

A spokesperson for Mrs Blair dismissed the doubts and explained that she was prepared to consider any offers that came her way:

Mrs Blair’s prepared to work in any supermarket, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s or even Lidl. If she can’t handle working at a check-out she can always stack shelves instead. Even she should be able to do that. Probably.

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