Blair angered by 'pre-judging' of Chilcot inquiry on Iraq war

 

Tony Blair has expressed his irritation at the Iraq inquiry's preparing to deliver a damning verdict on his handling of the war.

The former prime minister faces criticism for not admitting to a secret agreement with President George Bush that Britain would join the invasion, and for claiming wrongly that Britain's intelligence showed "beyond doubt" that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Blair is expected to come under fire for not involving the entire Cabinet in key decisions and for failing to prepare for the aftermath of the conflict, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Alastair Campbell, his former director of communications, is set to be criticised for "spinning" intelligence material ahead of the war. Mr Campbell declined to comment last night.

Although the report is not due to be published until the autumn, Whitehall sources confirmed that it was expected to reach tougher conclusions about the conduct of the war than earlier inquiries. The questioning by the five-member panel headed by Sir John Chilcot gave a clear indication of the direction of its investigation, they said.

A spokesman for Mr Blair, who appeared twice before the inquiry, said: "This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to pre-judge a report that hasn't even been written yet. We're not going comment until it has been published."

The interrogation of the former prime minister focused on the certainty with which he had asserted that Saddam had obtained deadly weapons, as well as the claim that Iraq could launch them within 45 minutes of an order.

The inquiry pursued details of a meeting between Mr Blair and Mr Bush at the president's Texan ranch in 2002 – a year before the war – in which they allegedly agreed secretly to theinvasion. Mr Blair denies the claim. There will also reportedly be criticism of the former prime minister's style of "sofa government", keeping the majority of his Cabinet in the dark over developments. Former ministers have also been questioned over the "obvious failings" in post-war planning.

Past judgements

Hutton inquiry (January 2004)

Concluded the dossier making the case for war had not been embellished by Downing Street, although Lord Hutton noted Alastair Campbell had told John Scarlett, head of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), he wanted it to be as strong as possible. JIC members could have been "subconsciously influenced" to use tougher language. Hutton did not pass judgement on the 45-minute claim.



Butler review (July 2004)

Said the dossier "went to, although not beyond, the outer limits of intelligence available". Mr Blair was wrong to present it as authoritative. The 45-minute claim should have been presented differently. Concerns raised over "informality" of the Blair administration, warning the "scope for informed collective political judgement" could have been reduced.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Systems Developer Technical Lead

£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Energy Engineer

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

Techincal Accountant-Insurance-Bank-£550/day

£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment