Cherie: I don't own up to mistakes in public

Last updated at 18:39 26 May 2006

Cherie Blair has admitted she will never apologise for her mistakes in public - despite numerous errors of judgment in the past.

The interview with the BBC World Service, to be broadcast on Saturday, comes just days after Mrs Blair was accused of 'appalling bad taste' by MPs for autographing a copy of the Hutton Report for a Labour Party fundraising auction.

The auction raised £400 for the Labour party, leading to complaints that Labour was cashing in on the suicide of weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

The incident was simply the latest in a long line of decisions by Mrs Blair that have led many to question her judgment - from enjoying luxury holidays from rich friends, accepting money from various charity speaking engagements and spending more than £7,000 on her hair during the general election (which she claimed back from Labour party).

However, any chance of an apology from the PM's wife seems unlikely as she used the BBC interview to insist she would never admit to mistakes in public.

She said: "God, I don't think I'm a person who's so marvellous that I always do everything right. I'm sure I can look back on all sorts of things and think: 'I could have done things differently'."

However, she went on to add: "I don't own up to them [errors of judgment] publicly. I'm never really in a situation where it gets to that."

Number 10

Cherie also insisted it was "absolutely" her husband's decision when he will step down as Prime Minister and admitted she has not "really thought about what the future's going to be like" when they leave Number 10.

Mrs Blair also admitted she did not know whether she "loved or hated" a photograph showing her answering the front door in 1997 in her night-gown, and claimed the row over her £7,700 hairdressing bill during last year's general election campaign was a "load of fuss".

She said she accepted her appearance was of interest to the media but said it was not "the most interesting thing" about her.

Last September, at the Labour Party Conference, Mrs Blair sparked another round of speculation over the Prime Minister's leaving date when she told a reporter: "Darling, that is a long way in the future. It is too far ahead for me to even think about."

On the relationship between the judiciary and the Government, Mrs Blair said: "I don't recognise that description of 'trench warfare' between the judiciary and the Government.

"The Government and the judiciary have different roles, but both of them have the same aim - which is to ensure the safety, the security and respect for the human rights of everybody in our country."

She said that there was "a dialogue about how those trade-offs have to take place".

When asked about the Prime Minister's comments in the wake of the London bombings that the "rules of the game" were changing, she said: "Well, the situation has certainly changed, in that the question of terrorism is clearly a live one.

"But the question of how we deal with that, in a democracy, is always something that's up for debate.

"In Britain, I think we can pride ourselves on being the home of human rights - going back to Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights and beyond that. We were the first signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights."

Asked if that was in danger now, she replied: "None of that's under danger now. Absolutely not."

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