Anger over chilcot report as hammond faces questioning by mps

Jul 09, 2016, 08:25

"It wasn't that I wanted to believe it".

While refraining from passing judgement on the legality of the war, he also said Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein to gain parliamentary and public support.

Mr Keating, a Labor Prime Minister who served for two terms and was succeeded by Mr Howard in 1996, said Mr Howard should "atone for his actions and those of his government" after a United Kingdom government report found the 2003 invasion of Iraq was based on flawed intelligence.

"There's not a single day goes by", he said, when he does not think about his decision to approve military action, admitting that many mistakes had been made before, during and after the 2003 invasion.

"For that decision today I accept full responsibility, without exception and without excuse".

The former prime minister was revealed to have told then US President George W Bush "I will be with you whatever", eight months before British troops were sent into the troubled country in 2003.

During a House Of Commons debate on Wednesday after the publication of the Iraq Inquiry, Mr Twigg moved to debunk the "three main complaints" he said had been levelled at the former Labour Prime Minister over the decision to take military action.

The Chilcot probe found that the invasion of Iraq claiming the existence of mass-destruction weapons was carried out based on faulty intelligence and before having exhausted all peaceful options.

Mr Blair insisted he could look the families - and the nation - in the eye and state that he did not mislead anyone over the invasion, the service personnel did not die in vain, and he was right to do what he did.

He expressed sorrow for the death of thousands of people, adding, however, that "the world was and is in my judgment a better place without Saddam Hussein".

Families of some of the 179 military personnel killed in Iraq described the former PM as a "terrorist", and Jeremy Corbyn offered an apology on Labour's behalf for what he described as "a stain on our party and our country".

Asked if he had considered whether that could happen, Mr Blair said: "No, but I do understand why they can't agree with me and will never forgive me for this decision".

Gil Paterson, MSP for Milngavie, said: "The former Prime Minister Tony Blair must be held accountable for the carnage of the Iraq War and the subsequent chaos that followed it".

Prime Minister David Cameron, who voted for war in 2003, told MPs it was important to "really learn the lessons for the future" and to improve the workings of government and how it treats legal advice.

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