Blair's God comments anger families of Iraq casualties

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Indy Politics

Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq attacked Tony Blair last night over his comments that God will be the ultimate judge of the Iraq war.

Reg Keys, the father of one of six military policemen killed in June 2003, said the Prime Minister's words were "abhorrent". Mr Keys, who founded the campaigning group Military Families Against the War, said: "He is using God as a get-out for total strategic failure."

In an interview with Michael Parkinson, Mr Blair said he struggled with his conscience before sending troops in: "That decision has to be taken ... and in the end there is a judgement that - well, I think if you have faith about these things then you realise that judgement is made by other people."

When asked what he meant, Mr Blair replied: "If you believe in God, it's made by God as well."

Mr Keys, who in last year's general election stood as an anti-war candidate in Mr Blair's constituency, said: "Are we seeing over 100 coffins coming back because God told him to go to war? The first judgement should be from the bereaved families, not God."

Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in Basra in 2004, said she was "disgusted" by Mr Blair's remarks. She added: "A Christian would never put people out there to be killed."

More than 100 British soldiers have died in Iraq since the invasion in 2003.

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