Lord Harris of Peckham said Blair, when he first led the country, would be better than May currently, when asked in an interview published today in the Times newspaper.
May has been "hopeless" as Prime Minister after a strong first month, he said. "Theresa May is no Thatcher," he added, saying the former has "changed her mind too many times".
Philip Harris has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Conservative party, with gifts as large as £250,000 spanning from 2004 until May of this year, according to the Electoral Commission's register.
The carpet magnate retired in 2014 from the Carpetright firm he founded in 1988. A lifelong Tory, he nevertheless said that both the Conservatives and the opposition Labour party had lost their way.
He said: “I’d much rather have a strong Labour government than a weak Conservative one and I’m a Conservative through and through.
I wouldn’t want Jeremy Corbyn but if you had Tony Blair when he first got in now he would be very good for this country.
Blair was Prime Minister from 1997 after sweeping to victory in a landslide victory. He stepped down in 2007 without ever losing a general election, but his wing of the Labour party has since fallen out of power. Current leader Jeremy Corbyn is a staunch critic of Blair and his role in starting the Iraq war in particular.
Harris, a Brexit supporter who was named by former Tory leadership candidate and current environment secretary Michael Gove as one of his "heroes" in 2014, also heavily criticised cuts to school funding. "It's a false economy," he said.
He also added that he was "completely against" May's manifesto pledge to expand grammar schools. Harris founded his own education charity, which runs 44 primary and secondary academies.