The announcement comes after Faizal Iqbal, a second year Chemistry and Politics student, personally delivered a copy of his 2008 novel, ”A Bush in the Hand is Worth Two in a Bird’, to the desk of Times editor, James Harding. Within hours, Mr Iqbal’s work was authenticated by leading historian, David Starkey, and top literary critic, Gok Wan. Conversely, neither expert could find anything genuine about A Journey.
Speaking out on his Facebook page, Mr Iqbal said, ‘I feel like I have been totally ripped off by Mr Blair, and I am not too happy with him stealing my book either. When I wrote a fictional account of his life story based on his Wikipedia entry little did I realise that it would be bastardised, and I use the word bastard advisedly, having been advised to do so by my solicitor.’
When confronted last night by reporters, Mr Blair commented, ‘Listen… I want you to know I’m serious about this. That is why I am speaking… in a staccato voice… with a slight Estuary accent – whether I borrowed passages from Mr Iqbal’s novel is not the point – I have always said I am against torture – and no one is being forced to read my book.’
There also allegations that the stolen memoir was ‘sexed up’ by former Communications Director, friend and porn writer, Alastair Campbell. A Journey is punctuated by lengthy, graphic descriptions of the act of lovemaking between Tony and Cherie Blair, under the premise of explaining exactly how, when and where their children were conceived – a recurring theme notably missing from A Bush in the Hand… which focuses instead on an unlikely and highly inflammatory sexual relationship between Mr Blair and former US President, George W Bush.
There are differences too in the depiction of Cherie Blair in the respective books. In one account, she is said to ‘look like she has just stumbled drunkenly off the set of a Wallace and Gromit film, and possesses the common sense and charisma of a concussed donkey’, whereas Mr Iqbal paints an altogether more sympathetic view of the former First Lady.
Mr Iqbal says that he hasn’t yet decided whether to launch a plagiarism suit. If the case does go to court, Lord Hutton is believed to be standing by to preside.