RUTH Davidson will join Tony Blair at an event rumoured to be the beginnings of a new centrist party led by the former prime minister.

Organisers are also reportedly “desperate” to get Emmanuel Macron to speak at the Future of Britain conference, fuelling speculation it could be a vehicle for the Labour grandee to make a return to politics.

The line-up will include former Scottish Tory leader Davidson as well as US economist Lawrence Summers, who served as Bill Clinton’s chief federal financial adviser, and MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis, reports Politico.

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The event, taking place on June 30, has been organised by the Tony Blair Institute and the Britain Project, with the youth democracy group My Life My Say also involved.

The National:

Hosted by former BBC journalists Emily Maitlis (above, right) and Jon Sopel (left), the event will focus on “progressive” solutions to issues such as the economy, technology and climate change.

The Britain Project is the aspect of the event which is generating speculation a new party in the works.

The think tank and campaign group features a number of prominent figures in the UK’s political centre, including ex-Tory minister Rory Stewart, the LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael and former work and pensions secretary David Gauke - a Tory rebel who was expelled from the party over Brexit.

While some involved denied to Politico the group was thinking about launching a political party, its ideology and direction has led to comparisons with President Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) party.

The National:

And no-one the site spoke to denied the group could lead to a new party in the future.

Whether or not a new party will come to fruition means little to Scotland, SNP president Michael Russell said.

He said: “If it is the same old approach Blair always had, ignoring the demands of the Scottish people, then it will go the way of those previous experiences.

“Labour and the Tories have both had wipe-outs in Scotland because they haven’t listened to Scotland, so if Tony Blair thinks he can put together a new party which also doesn’t listen to Scotland, then I think the implications are pretty clear.

“You need to know when to leave the stage and it seems to me that this might be an indication he doesn’t know when to leave the stage.

“This is all the bit of hype that they like in Westminster – it doesn’t amount to very much by the time it gets to Edinburgh.”

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One source told Politico: “It’s not a political party, but it potentially could be a movement that puts pressure on existing parties to move in the right direction. Otherwise, there is a risk that our politics becomes, on the one hand, the populist and nationalist Conservative Party, and then a Labour party that is perhaps fighting over the same voters.”

Macron’s party began life in a similar way to the Britain Project, hosting citizens’ assembly-style events across France. It was formed as a think tank before becoming a party.

Blair, should he wish to re-enter frontline politics, faces a harder battle than Macron, with the first-past-the-post voting system geared against new parties.

The former prime minister seemed to quash speculation he was plotting a return to the Commons earlier this year, when he gave a full-throated endorsement of Keir Starmer’s Labour ahead of the local elections earlier this month.

Discontent has already been sown in the movement, however, with one source involved with it telling Politico: “Some of it is just monstrously ego driven.

“There is no sense that there is even any desire to tackle all these major problems — the economy, technology, climate and so forth.”

They added: “It is a smugfest that will invite utter ridicule. The worst thing in practical politics is to be laughed at — it will just be the stuff of comedy.”

A spokesperson for the Tony Blair Institute said: "The event planned for 30th June was flagged in Tony Blair’s  speech in January on the Future of Britain, when he said: 'There is a gaping hole in the governing of Britain where new ideas should be….. Above all, we need to make our economy highly competitive, attract world class talent, and make our independence from the EU a platform for economic growth. But it needs a plan, into which hard work and thought has gone. Policy detail. Strategic analysis. At present, there isn't one.'

“The event has nothing to do with creating a new political party. It’s an ideas conference.”

A spokesperson for the Britain Project said: "The Britain Project was established as a much needed convening space for progressive ideas, working with people from all political traditions. We are not and have no ambition or want to be a political party. 

“We are very excited to be working on the Future of Britain Conference in June with the Tony Blair Institute and My Life My Say.

"This will be a conference of ideas that will show the political opportunity for progressive politics in Britain and the need for an ambitious plan that will shape the country for the next decade. 

“This conference, and our involvement with the two partners, has nothing to do with establishing a new political party in the UK.”