David Jones, a Conservative member of Parliament’s public administration committee, said it was “hard to see” how Mr Blair could rely on claiming he had been tested “when we haven’t got a testing regime”.
“It sets an appalling example to travellers if a former prime minister appears to flout the rules in such a flagrant manner,” he said.
Mr Blair, 67, flew to Washington DC on Sept 14. He was pictured with other guests on the South Lawn of the White House, holding a face mask in his hand as he posed for pictures with US political figures including Frank Luntz, the veteran pollster, and Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives.
Mr Luntz said: “Tony Blair was a rockstar at this event. People were lining up for photos with him.”
He then returned to the UK on Sept 16. Ten days later on Sept 26 he was seen leaving Harry’s Bar in London’s Mayfair, which boasts of being “one of the most elegant and sophisticated private members’ clubs in London”.
Mr Blair is believed to have travelled on a Falcon 7X jet, accompanied by a team of Scotland Yard protection officers, whose salaries and expenses are funded by the British taxpayer. The going rate to hire a Falcon 7X is about £7,000 per hour. He had recently returned to the UK from Italy.
In June, Mr Blair gave an interview in which he said UK coronavirus rules, including those around quarantining, were “not very clear”.
He told CNBC: “The main thing is to have the rules clear, and some of them, frankly, like the ones of quarantining when people come into the country now, are really not very clear.”
Last month, Mr Blair urged the Government to bring in mass coronavirus testing at airports and cut quarantine times to five days as an “alternative” to the blanket 14-day quarantine, saying it would have “significant benefits both to individuals and the economy”.