Tony Blair has unveiled a new "platform" to counter the rise of populism and social media abuse in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The Labour former prime minister explained the group would not be a think tank, but parts of the organisation's focus would be around the EU debate.

"It has to go far wider than that since in many ways the Europe debate is a lightning rod for the whole of politics," he said.

Blair added: "This is the creation of a platform designed to build a new policy agenda for the centre ground together with the networks which link people up, and allow a reasonable and evidence-based discussion of the future which avoids the plague of social media-led exchanges of abuse.

"This platform will have a policy unit which will draw on the best ideas and practical solutions, building partnerships with other organisations, in the public policy and private spheres, so that those in the front line of politics have a bigger and better policy agenda to reflect upon; and a networking capability to join like-minded people up."

The not-for-profit group has also been listed on Companies House as the Tony Blair Institute, which is registered at a London law firm and its nature of business is categorised as "other education not elsewhere classified".

The group will launch in early 2017 and will come after Blair, who was in Number 10 between 1997 and 2007, told The New Statesman that UK voters could stop a Brexit.

"It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn't stack up," he said.

Blair had reportedly met with a number of well-known centre group politicians, including former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, before unveiling the platform.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Initiative for the Middle East and Africa Governance Initiative will merge into new institute.

"The business side has been shut down and the assets, running into many millions of pounds, gifted to the Institute," he said.

"In the new year, we plan to merge the activities of the different organisations into the institute, with any charitable funds used exclusively for the purposes for which they were originally given."