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Beacon on The Bay
Posted by editor_usa

PM’s Stay at Singer’s Abode Leads to Questions

Friday 29
December 2006 @ 17:14
– GMT

 Elton, Diana Ross, Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard have all visited Robin Gibb’s Florida mansion–said to be one of America’s costliest gated communities.

The latest notable is Tony Blair. In fact, his office has been attempting to deflect criticism of his holiday there, saying the British prime minister had paid for the stay.

Opposition Conservatives and newspapers savaged Blair over his year-end break at the Bee Gees star’s  home, demanding to know whether it was costing British taxpayers money or if it was a “freebie.”

Blair’s Downing Street office declined to give any details about the prime minister’s holiday but a spokeswoman said: “There is a private commercial arrangement in place.”

Robin’s wife Dwina was quoted as saying that the Gibbs had neither asked for nor accepted money from Blair, who was reportedly relaxing at the $10.20 million seafront mansion with his wife Cherie and three of their children.

 It is estimated that a similar house would cost up to 40,000 pounds a week to rent.

Conservative legislator Chris Grayling said clear details are needed ”on who is paying for this holiday or whether it is a ‘freebie.'”

Blair’s Florida visit only came to light because of a safety scare in Miami. The Boeing 747 carrying Blair and his family missed a runway exit on arrival from London on Tuesday, prompting emergency vehicles to rush to the scene.