Former MPs accused of undermining public trust

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Peter Mandelson accused former ministers who opposed military action in Iraq of undermining public trust in Tony Blair by continuing to fight the political battle over the war.

Mr Mandelson, a close adviser to the Prime Minister, did not name names, but fired a warning shot last night at former ministers - such as Robin Cook and Clare Short - accusing them of jeopardising Labour's election prospects and playing into Tory hands. His remarks to Progress, a Labour grassroots group, reflect concern in Downing Street at the failure to shift the political agenda away from Iraq. He said opponents of the war could "simultaneously express their opposition but accept the Prime Minister's good faith in prosecuting it".