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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has had to clarify the government's position on the Iraq war after telling MPs the conflict had been "illegal".
"The deputy prime minister was expressing his long-held view about the legality of the Iraq conflict," he added.
It was up to ministers who were in power at the time "to account for their actions", he added. Mr Clegg was not an MP at the time of the war.
The invasion of Iraq "substantially" increased the terrorist threat to the UK, the former head of MI5 has said.
Nick Clegg was tonight forced to clarify his position on the Iraq war after he stood up at the dispatch box of the House of Commons and pronounced the invasion illegal.
‘Clegg backtracks after declaring Iraq war illegal’
‘What appeared to have escaped the Deputy Prime Minister in the heat of the moment was that most senior Conservatives also voted for the war, including the Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague, who were sitting alongside Mr Clegg as he spoke, and Mr Cameron, who was in Washington.’
He also seemingly forgot that he was speaking in Parliament as the acting head of government, and that his words could be interpreted as an official admission by the UK that the military action undertaken seven years ago was illegal. As the implications of his remarks sank in, Mr Clegg's office hurriedly issued a statement insisting that he was speaking personally, not expressing an official view.