Ian Paisley told Tony Blair he was 'a fool' when the former Prime Minister informed the Protestant politician that he was going to be received into the Catholic Church, reports The Tablet.
The two men met in December 2007, hours before Mr Blair was formally welcomed into the Catholic Church at a service at Archbishop’s House. Revd Paisley, the founder of the Free Presbyterian Church, described their conversation in a new BBC Northern Ireland documentary about Paisley.
'As we were walking down the stairs he stopped, he looked back at me and he said, "Ian, there is something I need to tell you." Mr Blair then pointed to a clock and said: "When the hands of that clock, when they come to eight o'clock, I will be a Roman Catholic … I didn't want you to leave without telling you; I'd rather tell you myself."'
Revd Paisley reacted bluntly. 'And I said, "You are a fool," and I walked on,' he told the documentary.
Mr Blair has said that he converted from Anglicanism to Rome after attending Mass regularly with his wife, Cherie, a lifelong Catholic.