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Tony Blair's tan brightens British election
Updated: 2005-04-19 18:37

So what's the burning issue in Britain's election campaign? Iraq, health, crime perhaps?

No -- it's Tony Blair's freshly bronzed face.

Bored with a so far lacklustre race, Britain's tabloid newspapers turned on Tuesday to the vexing issue of whether the prime minister has applied a fake tan.

Newspapers gleefully published pictures of Blair's "whiter shade of pale" face on Saturday, versus his "tangerine appearance" on the campaign trail on Monday.

"Where did he get that glow?" asked the Daily Express, offering betting odds for the possibilities of a spray tan, sunbed or natural rays. "So is it out of a bottle, PM?" echoed the Daily Star in an article eclipsing pieces on tax and asylum.

Blair, trying to convince the public of his honesty ahead of the May 5 polling date after seeing his trust ratings plunge over Iraq, was vehement his glowing looks are all natural.

He attributed the tan to sitting out with his work papers in the back garden of his Downing Street home on Sunday.

"It was really sunny down in London," he told a Birmingham radio station on Tuesday.

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