Blair holiday pics scoop fuels Splash staff boost

British-owned US celebrity news agency Splash is boosting the staff of its Miami bureau after scooping Blair family holiday pictures for the second year running.

Last year Number 10 controversially asked the media not to disclose the location of the Prime Minister's holiday — later revealed to be Cliff Richard's luxury Barbados villa.

This year there was less secrecy, but Splash still claimed an exclusive with pictures of the Blairs in Barbados.

The Miami office was launched two years ago by former Daily Mirror news editor David Leigh and his wife Sue Thompson, former news editor of The Sun.

New recruits are reporter Matheus Sanchez, 27, from the Evening Standard, and photographer Oliver Hadlow Martin, 20, from agency Wales News.

The Blair holiday pictures were taken by Splash staff photographer Steven Dennett, working with Barbados freelance Chris Brandis.

The first set of photographs of Blair on board the yacht Good Vibrations made the front page of nearly every national newspaper last month — coming while many UK holiday makers were experiencing flight chaos caused by the alleged terror plot.

Leigh said: "The world and his wife were looking for Blair, but only our guys came up with the goods. The other agencies simply didn't get a look in."

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