TONY Blair was listed in Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘little black contacts book’ alongside a series of Britain’s richest and most powerful people, it has been claimed today.
The former Prime Minister was one of 301 British names and featured alongside Sir Richard Branson, Sir Mick Jagger, Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Epstein was found dead in his cell in a Manhattan jail where he was being held without bail awaiting trial for allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls as young as 14 in New York and Florida.
The 66-year-old, who denied the charges, was found at 6.30am on Saturday morning, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. Officials said he had hanged himself.
He was facing up to 45 years behind bars on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Epstein had built up an astonishing list of more than 1,000 phone numbers and email addresses for hundreds of famous names from both sides of the Atlantic.
There is no suggestion the names listed in the “little black book” – which is now in the hands of the FBI – were involved in any wrongdoing or even met Epstein.
The contacts also included celebrities such as Simon Le Bon, the late Sir David Frost, supermodel Naomi Campbell, socialite Tamara Beckwith, Jonathan Dimbleby, Loyd Grossman and numerous lords and ladies.
Mr Blair is recorded once in the book while former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson has 10 entries, including one marked “direct line” one for “home” and another for “country home”.
There are 16 numbers for Prince Andrew, including a mobile number, one marked “Palace ex-directory”, one for Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish residence, where the Prince invited Epstein, and one marked “Sand”, for Sandringham.
Epstein also recorded 18 numbers for Prince Andrew’s former wife Sarah Ferguson, who accepted£15,000 from the paedophile to help pay debts.
The book is also said to contain contacts of Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of Robert Maxwell, including her extended family, friends and brief acquaintances.
Prosecutors believe Epstein orchestrated a network of students who were lined up by other young women and then forced to satisfy the hedge fund billionaire’s wishes.
His private Caribbean hideaway, known as “Paedophile Island”, was raided by FBI agents last night.
US Attorney General William Barr has vowed justice will be done despite Epstein’s death.
He said: “I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner.
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation. The FBI and the office of inspector general are doing just that.”
“We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to prison insiders.
But he was taken off the watch at the end of July and therefore was not on it at the time of his death.
He was supposed to have been checked on by a guard about every 30 minutes, but investigators have learned those checks were not done for several hours before Epstein was found unresponsive.
Epstein’s July 6 arrest drew national attention, particularly focusing on a deal that allowed him to plead guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida and avoid more serious federal charges.