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June 11, 2021 38 min

As the G7 summit gets underway in Cornwall, Jack Blanchard speaks to Tony Blair and a host of former senior government officials about what it's like to attend these surreal events — and whether they're really still relevant in the modern age.

Blair reminisces about his first big summit — a Bill Clinton-hosted G8 in Colorado in 1997 — and the most memorable, the G8 in Gleneagles in 2005. Former diplomat Peter Ricketts explains the months of unseen work ahead of each summit, and how informal meetings in the margins can often be more important than the main event. Former Downing Street aides Kate Fall and Paul Harrison lift the lid on David Cameron and Theresa May's differing approaches to diplomacy, while POLITICO's own David Herszenhorn explains what it's like to attend a G7 summit as a lowly political hack.

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