Cherie Blair’s penniless stepmum forced to claim Universal Credit over care cost

Cherie Blair’s stepmum had to claim Universal Credit after husband Tony Booth’s care costs left her with nothing.

Steph Booth, 64, was married to Cherie’s actor dad for 23 years until his death at 85 in 2017.

The Till Death Us Do Part star was diagnosed with dementia in 2004.

Steph, who gave up teaching to look after him, said care bills totalling tens of thousands of pounds wiped out their savings and left her penniless.

She is backing our Care for All campaign to tackle the adult social care crisis caused by the Tories’ £7.7 billion cuts.

She said: “When Tony died we were broke. I had no income for five years and we had used all our savings.

“All the benefits stop­­ped and I had absolutely nothing. No husband, no income, nothing. It was such a shock.

“I lived on Universal Credit for six months. It was horrible to be that low.”

Steph said former PM’s wife Cherie, 65, helped out but it was “difficult having to ask for handouts”.

Four-times wed Tony had often- strained relationships with many of his eight daughters, some of who initially refused to accept his diagnosis.

Steph – who cared for him alone in Todmorden, West Yorks, almost 200 miles from Cherie in Buckinghamshire – had a daily battle for funding.

She often had to fork out for expenses not covered by Tony’s care plan. She said: “I wanted to give him a quality of life while he could still enjoy it.

“These packages don’t take into account the needs of the human being. Instead it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.”

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