Mr Blair, who stepped down as leader and as an MP 13 years ago after 10 years in power, has become a powerful voice in the fight to use vaccines to allow the UK economy to come out of hibernation and save lives and livelihoods.
He has offered ‘strategic advice’ to the Cabinet minister several times during the pandemic, the Sunday Times reported today.
It said he had also spoken with Haroness Harding, the much-criticised head of the test and trace programme.
Mr Hancock did not deny the claim when asked today, saying merely: ‘I talk to all sorts of people and we take ideas from lots of sources.’
A friend of the former prime minister told the Sunday Times: ‘Tony believes deeply, as do many of the people around him, that he left office at the peak of his powers.
‘He got better at governing as time went on. Ten years later, he is definitely animated by a burning feeling that the British governance is inadequate. He feels that he has the drive and ideas to change that.’
Last week Mr Blair said the UK needs to dramatically accelerate its coronavirus vaccination programme in order to lift lockdown rules in the spring.