TONY Blair is helping Keir Starmer build relationships with political leaders in the Middle East, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to an investigation by The i, the former prime minister has been drafted in to assist Starmer in making contacts in the region and advising him on his transition to power should Labour win the next General Election.

No direct conversations have yet taken place between Blair and Netanyahu, although one source said the former prime minister had been working to convince Israeli officials that Starmer is “not Jeremy Corbyn”.

Indeed, Blair informed the Israeli government that a consistent approach to the Israel-Hamas war could be expected from the UK.

It suggests that Starmer will continue to resist calls for a ceasefire despite significant rebellion within his party.

The National: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly suggested Tony Blair as a candidate to become to a humanitarian coordinator in GazaIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly suggested Tony Blair as a candidate to become to a humanitarian coordinator in Gaza (Image: Stefan Rousseau)

Last week, 56 Labour MPs voted for an SNP amendment calling for a ceasefire in Gaza with a total of ten frontbenchers resigning over the issue - including Jess Phillips. 

It has been suggested that staff from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) may also take on temporary roles within the Labour Party to advise on the Israel-Hamas war.

Blair worked as a former Middle East peace envoy between 2007 and 2015.

During that time he attempted to encourage talks between Israel and Hamas with the goal of fostering peace within the region.

However, Blair’s political influence in the Middle East remains controversial due to his decision to send British troops into Iraq in 2003 despite widespread protests.

Back in June the TBI published a report on the political tensions between Israel and Gaza, suggesting that without a process to resolve the conflict the “next Gaza-Israel escalation is only a matter of time”.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf tables Gaza ceasefire motion in Scottish Parliament

It is believed that Netanyahu himself has suggested Blair as a candidate to become a “humanitarian coordinator” in Gaza if the conflict continues.

A spokesperson for Blair said: “[Tony] has an office in Israel and has continued to work on issues regarding Israel and the Palestinians”.

“He is discussing the situation obviously with a number of people in the region and elsewhere to see what can be done. But there is no ‘role’ offered or taken.”

Sources told The i that Starmer’s position on the Israel-Gaza conflict was not down to Tony Blair.

However, the Labour leader has admitted that his decision not to back a ceasefire and instead call for humanitarian pauses in fighting is “what you would expect from someone who wants to form the next government”.

It comes after Rishi Sunak brought in former Conservative prime minister David Cameron to become Foreign Secretary.