Blair holiday pics scoop fuels Miami agency growth

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 Ten controversially asked the media not to reveal the location of the Prime Minister’s holiday – later revealed to be at 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.

Splash was launched a decade ago by British tabloid journalists Kevin Smith and Gary Morgan and now has bureaus in LA, New York, Canada and London as well as Miami.

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 – as well as photographer Steve Dennett.

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

Brazilian-born Sanchez is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, which should prove useful in a city with a large Spanish speaking population.

The Blair holiday pics were taken by Splash staff photographer Steve 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 as they did while many UK holiday makers were experiencing flight chaos cuased 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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