Brown 'frozen out of war decision'
Monday 01 February 2010
Tony Blair planned to use a quick victory in Iraq to stamp his authority on the Government and remove Gordon Brown from the Treasury, a former Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Clare Short, the former International Development Secretary who resigned following the invasion, said Mr Brown was frozen out of plans for the Iraq war and took no view on the decision to send in troops. Contrary to evidence given to the Iraq inquiry by Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair's former director of communications, she said Mr Brown was not part of Mr Blair's inner circle of advisers on Iraq.
Ms Short, who will give evidence to the inquiry tomorrow, said Mr Brown passed no comment about the conflict in Cabinet meetings as he had been "marginalised" on the war. She revealed Mr Brown would have made a dramatic exit from the Government had Mr Blair used a quick victory over Saddam Hussein to remove him from the Treasury.
"In most of the run-up to the war Gordon and Tony were in one of their fallen-out phases and Gordon was marginalised and not included and not in the inner group," she told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. "He was saying to me, 'They think they are going to have a quick successful war and then they will be very powerful and then they will have a reshuffle'. He thought they wanted him out of the Treasury, and they were going to offer him the Foreign Office and he was saying, 'I won't accept it, I'll join you on the backbenches'."
Ms Short, now an independent MP, added it was "ludicrous" of Mr Blair to claim action was needed against Saddam following the 9/11 terror attacks. "He never argued that at the time," she said. "There was no link of any kind – as everybody knows who is serious – between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida, so there was no such threat."
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are recruitment for an Assistan...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...
£23000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be a part of ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This growing successful busines...