John Prescott has reportedly linked Tony Blair’s invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan to the radicalisation of young Muslims at a fundraising event for his son.
Prescott’s comments were made in February as he spoke at the fundraising event in Gainsborough, The Telegraph reports.
The outspoken former deputy PM, who was recently appointed as an unpaid adviser with special responsibility for climate change by Labour leader Ed Miliband, said he believes Blair was wrong for invading Iraq in 2003.
"They told us it wasn't regime change. It was. And that's exactly what the Americans have had,” he was recorded saying.
"Now Tony, unfortunately is still in to that. I mean the way he's going now, he now wants to invade everywhere.
"He should put a white coat on with a red cross and let's start the bloody crusades again."
He went on: "When I hear people talking about how people are radicalised, young Muslims. I'll tell you how they are radicalised.
The Iraq War: A timeline
The Iraq War: A timeline
1/16 11 September 2001
Terrorists belonging to al-Qaeda use hijacked aeroplanes to kill 2,996 people in attacks on the east coast of the US.
2/16 12 September 2001
Tony Blair promises George W Bush that the UK will support the US, whatever the President decides to do.
3/16 25 March 2002
Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, warns Blair that invading Iraq would be legally dubious.
4/16 June 2002
Tony Blair asks defence officials to outline options for UK participation in military action against Iraq.
5/16 24 September 2002
The government publishes a dossier about the threat from Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. A foreword by Tony Blair states that Saddam Hussein’s “military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them”. It is subsequently alleged that this dossier was “sexed up” for political reasons.
6/16 2 October 2002
Congress authorises President Bush to use military force against Iraq.
7/16 8 November 2002
UN Security Council passes resolution 1441, insisting that weapons inspectors be allowed back into Iraq and calling on the regime to give up its WMD or face the consequences.
8/16 18 July 2003
David Kelly, an expert in biological warfare, is found dead after being named as the source of quotations used by the BBC’s Andrew Gilligan to suggest that the dossier of September 2002 had been “sexed up”. Lord Hutton is appointed to chair a judicial inquiry into his death.
9/16 13 December 2003
Saddam Hussein is captured near Tikrit, after nine months in hiding.
10/16 2 March 2004
Bombings in Baghdad and Karbala kill nearly 200 people: the worst attacks since the fall of Saddam.
11/16 14 September 2005
Bombs in Baghdad kill 160 people and injure more than 500.
12/16 30 December 2005
Saddam Hussein is executed.
13/16 28 May 2009
The last British combat troops leave Iraq.
14/16 24 November 2009
The Chilcot inquiry holds its first public hearing.
15/16 2 February 2011
The Chilcot inquiry holds its final public hearing.
16/16 21 January 2015
Sir John Chilcot confirms that his report will not be published before the general election in May 2015.
"Every time they watch the television where their families are worried, their kids are being killed or murdered and rockets, you know, firing on all these people, that's what radicalises them."
Mr Prescott’s remarks come amid growing fears over the number of young men, women and teenagers from Britain fleeing the country to join Isis in Syria or Iraq.
The militant group is known for using social media as a vehicle to drive propaganda and radicalise young Muslims. In the most recent case, three schoolgirls from London disappeared from their family home and are believed to have travelled to join the group in Raqqa, Isis’s Syrian stronghold.
The Labour party distanced itself from Prescott’s comments, telling the newspaper: "John's views on this do not represent the views of the Labour Party."
His son David later took to Twitter to dismiss reports that his comments were surreptitiously recorded and said the BBC had openly filmed his speech.Reuse content