Goldsmith refuses to disclose Iraq legal advice

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The Independent Online

The Attorney General confirmed yesterday that the Government would not release the legal advice on the war on Iraq, despite a string of demands to see the papers under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Attorney General confirmed yesterday that the Government would not release the legal advice on the war on Iraq, despite a string of demands to see the papers under the Freedom of Information Act.

Lord Goldsmith said he "was not proposing to disclose advice given confidentially within government". He denied that he had been "leant upon" by Tony Blair to pronounce war legal. "It was my genuine and independent view that action was lawful under existing United Nations Security Council resolutions," he said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said the legal advice "lies right at the very heart of the Government's case for military action against Iraq. I have no doubt that the public interest lies in publication of the whole of the advice, but I am equally sure that the Government will not want to run the risk of political embarrassment."

Meanwhile a Times poll today suggests that British support for the war in Iraq has dropped to a record low. Fewer than one in three believe the war was justified.