Blair statement cancelling London book signing

Sorry to those -- "as ever the majority" -- who wanted to meet former PM

Here is Tony Blair's statement on canceling his book signing in Picaddilly this week:

I very much enjoyed meeting my readers in Dublin and was looking forward to doing the same in London.

However, I have decided not to go ahead with the signing as I don't want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protestors. I know the Metropolitan police would, as ever, have done a superb job in managing any disruption but I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book signing.

I'm really sorry for those - as ever the majority - who would have come to have their books signed by me in person. I hope they understand.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.