Devout Christian Tony Blair has sensationally admitted that the meek may not inherit the earth after all.
Speaking at a press conference about the 'Tony Blair Faith Foundation' in New York the ex Prime Minister said:
"I'm afraid to say that it is very unlikely that the meek shall inherit the earth. It is a fine idea in principle but it must be said that most of the powerful elite on earth today are not gentle folk who display patience and humility. Conversely I would argue that it is the assertive and bold who are more likely to inherit the earth's riches. What I think Jesus was trying to say was that the Meek might inherit the earth unless another group came along who wanted it more"
In a statement released yesterday Tony Blair has been supported by his friend and ally former President of the United States George Bush.
"Mr Bush would like it to be known that he fully supports Mr Blair's brave statement on the meek. If it were left to the timid and compliant America would probably be an Islamic state by now. God save us from the patient and long suffering and God Bless America"
However Blair's comments have caused outrage within the Christian community.
Talking to our Home Affairs correspondent Rev Nick Lang Vicar of St John's Church in Beckenham, Kent claimed that Mr Blair was guilty of Blasphemy and that he should retract his statement immediately.
"It clearly states in Matthew 5.5 'Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth'. I have no reason to believe that anything has changed. As far as I am concerned we should still eat fish on Friday and the meek can carry on showing patience and humility. Their day will come, I am sure of it"
Jonathan Hall, President of the UKSM (United Kingdom Society of the Meek) was less convinced.
"I can't believe this. I have spent my life practicing the virtues of meekness in the hope that one day I shall inherit the earth. Now all of a sudden they change the goalposts. Do you know how difficult it is being humble in spirit as well as manner? My mildness and submissiveness are legendary in the South East of England and to be honest I haven't found it easy. Only the other week I had to turn the other cheek when I found my wife in bed with a Housing Officer (*). Do you know how difficult it is to be 'gentle and self effacing' when mindless yobs are throwing eggs at your car. I'm off to buy a fucking gun."
(*) A recent survey showed that 70% of local government Housing Officers are unfaithful to their partners at least once a year.