Tony Blair has hit out in a new interview and claimed he'll "never" reveal any truths behind the relationship claims surrounding he and Rupert Murdoch's ex-wife Wendi Deng.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair

The former UK prime minister made headlines last year around the world following allegations he had had an affair with Deng, prompting the billionaire media mogul Murdoch to divorce her.

Now asked about the claims directly by the Economist magazine for the first time, Blair has refused to comment.

Claiming that the issue was "not something I will ever talk about - I haven't and I won't", despite a spokesman back in 2013 issuing a statement which read: "If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no."

Leaked passages from a diary kept by Deng revealed she had "warm feelings" comparable to a "crush" on Blair, who allegedly stayed at the Murdochs' California ranch with her in October 2012 and April 2013 when Murdoch was abroad.

She went on to praise Blair's "good body", his "really, really good legs" and his "butt", in a passage revealed by Vanity Fair back in February.

A lengthy profile of Blair in the Economist goes on to say: "Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was [at least] careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is "not something I will ever talk about - I haven't and I wont", and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps.

"But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt.

"Even Mr Blair's close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him - not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair's faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America."

This year, Murdoch spoke out to say he was "shocked" by the claims and said he filed for divorce a week after staff at the ranch told him of their own suspicions.

"Well, you know, everybody was talking about these things and never telling me anything... But then I was told two pretty circumstantial things about the ranch" he explained in an interview with Forbes magazine.

"I was in Australia. When I got back, I naturally asked the staff, and it opened up. That's the story. And then, you know, a week later I filed. As soon as I could find a lawyer."

The couple went on to divorce last November after 14 years of marriage.

The Economist's profile goes on to paint a picture of a man who's "reviled" in the country where he served for 10 years as prime minister, but Blair does defend his record in the Middle East.

Stating he'll not "until my dying day" admit it was wrong to invade Iraq, he admits: "What annoys people is my refusal to change my mind".

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