Tony Blair is facing questions over his role as adviser to the president Joyce Banda after the British government froze aid to the country amid a growing corruption scandal.

The UK, through the Department for International Development (DfID), was due to spend £92 million of aid in Malawi next year, making it the biggest international donor. It has frozen £17 million of payments with “immediate effect”.

Mr Blair and his charity the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) has been working closely with Joyce Banda, Malawi’s president, since August last year.

But Conservative MPs in the UK and local campaigners are now demanding to know whether Mr Blair and his team were aware of the allegations. They want to know whether Mr Blair was warned about corruption, and if so what he did about it. If his team was ignorant, then it raises potentially embarrassing questions about what AGI’s “governance” programme was actually achieving.

DfID is also facing criticism over its handling of the crisis in Malawi that has come to be known as the Cashgate scandal.

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