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It was a damning indictment of how the Blair Government handled the war – and I take my fair share of blame. As the Deputy Prime Minister in that Government I must express my fullest apology, especially to the families of the 179 men and women who gave their lives in the Iraq War.
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith , came to the Cabinet, verbally announced it was legal, but provided no documentation to justify it. The timing of the decision was clearly designed to endorse an almost immediate action for us to go to war.
In my evidence to Chilcot, I said the Attorney General in the weeks before the decision was an “unhappy bunny” as he continued to find a justification to invade Iraq. But the overwhelming matter of grave concern was our “special relationship” with the US and President George W Bush .
In earlier discussions with Blair I expressed concern, to which he replied that every Prime Minister has to decide early on whether or not they are to become a special friend to the US.
In the days after 9/11 , Blair suggested I visit America to satisfy my concerns. It was arranged for me to meet Vice President Dick Cheney in the White House. He appeared via video link from a secret location.
I then spoke to US Senators and military personnel which left me with the overall impression that the Americans were going into Iraq – with or without us.
A senior US senator told me, referring to the failure to topple Saddam after the Kuwait invasion: “John, this is unfinished business.” I informed Tony of this but still he expressed the view that his policy and purpose was a UN resolution, not regime change.
And Tony’s note to Bush with that devastating quote “I am with you, whatever” was all the Americans needed to go in, without UN support.
I will live with the decision of going to war and its catastrophic consequences for the rest of my life. In 2004, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that as regime change was the prime aim of the Iraq War, it was illegal. With great sadness and anger, I now believe him to be right.
originally posted by: gortex
This is a damning indictment of Blair by one of the most senior members of the government and party that took the decision to ignore international law and destroy Iraq , the longer the war criminal Blair remains free the deeper the stain on this country's reputation.
Welcome to the real world Prezza.
As the Deputy Prime Minister in that Government I must express my fullest apology, especially to the families of the 179 men and women who gave their lives in the Iraq War.
Did it take the Chilcot report for him to change his mind or did he change his mind a long time ago, but chose to remain silent until now?
Life peerage It was announced on 28 May 2010 that Prescott was to be awarded a life peerage, The peerage was gazetted on 15 June in the 2010 Dissolution Honours. He was introduced in the House of Lords on8 July as Baron Prescott,of Kingston upon Hull in the County of East Yorkshire, and the Letters Patent were gazetted on 12 July, dated 7 July. Note that the comma appears after "Prescott", not "Hull", because his title is "Baron Prescott", not "Baron Prescott of Kingston upon Hull". Iraq War inquiry
On 30 July 2010, Lord Prescott appeared before the panel at the Chilcot Inquiry concerning the Iraq War. Prescott stated that he was doubtful about the legality, intelligence and information about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction. The inquiry was launched by Gordon Brown in the summer of 2009 shortly after operations in the war ended. In 2016, after publication of the resultant Chilcot Report, which was critical of the war but remained neutral on its legality, Prescott declared that the invasion by UK and US forces had been "illegal" and that members of Tony Blair's Cabinet "were given too little paper documentation to make decisions".
Jeremy Corbyn Labour coup designed to stop him 'calling for Tony Blair's head' after Chilcot report, says Alex Salmond
'It would be a mistake to believe that Chilcot and current events are entirely unconnected. The link is through the Labour Party'
Alex Salmond has appeared to suggest the internal Labour party coup against Jeremy Corbyn is connected with the publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report into the Iraq war. His comments come just three days before the publication of the inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war.
Earlier reports have suggested Mr Blair, the former Prime Minister, and his contemporaries will be savaged in an “absolutely brutal” verdict. In an article for the Herald, the former Scottish First Minister wrote: “It would be a mistake to believe that Chilcot and current events are entirely unconnected. The link is through the Labour Party”
“I have been puzzling as to exactly why the Parliamentary Labour Party chose this moment to launch their coup against Jeremy Corbyn and just what explains the desperation to get him out last week. It can hardly be because of a European referendum where [Mr] Corbyn’s campaigning, although less than energetic, was arguably more visible than that of say the likely big political winner Teresa May?”
He added: “I had a conversation on exactly this point with veteran Labour firebrand Dennis Skinner. He answered in one word ‘Iraq
originally posted by: Cobaltic1978
. Did it take the Chilcot report for him to change his mind or did he change his mind a long time ago, but chose to remain silent until now?
originally posted by: CJCrawley
a reply to: gortex
Ha! The pot calling the kettle black.
Two Jags doesn't come out of this smelling of roses; a snivelling little yes man who should have resigned his post at the soonest opportunity, like several of his colleagues did.
He has cross-party support with SNP MP Alex Salmond saying Mr Blair's actions were "a parliamentary crime, and it's time for Parliament to deliver the verdict".
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he agreed "Parliament must hold to account, including Tony Blair, those who took us into this particular war". Asked if he would back the motion, he told the BBC: "I haven't seen it yet, but I think I probably would."
Mr Davis said if his motion is accepted by Speaker John Bercow, it could be debated before Parliament breaks up for the summer on 21 July.
He said if Mr Blair was found guilty it was unclear what actions would be taken but "the government could choose to strip him of his Privy Councillorship".
Two Jags more like Two shags