Sir Cliff Richard revealed yesterday that he first lent Tony Blair his Barbados villa because he was concerned at how tired the Prime Minister was looking after the Iraq war.

As Mr Blair and his wife, Cherie, near the end of their third summer break at the singer's Caribbean hideaway, Sir Cliff expressed sympathy for the premier's "terrible job".

"I saw Tony on TV during the war and he seemed dwindled and haggard and I thought whatever gave him the motivation to take that decision (to go to war), he must have felt he had to do it," he said. "The idea was to do a good deed for someone doing a terrible job."