I don't accept there was deception, says Blair

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Indy Politics

A defiant Tony Blair today refused to apologise for "misrepresenting" the case for war with Iraq.

A defiant Tony Blair today refused to apologise for "misrepresenting" the case for war with Iraq.

The Prime Minister angrily rejected an accusation by Tory leader Michael Howard that he did not "accurately report" the intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

As the two clashed in the first Prime Minister's Questions since MPs returned from their summer break, Mr Blair accused Mr Howard of "playing politics" over the war.

Mr Blair dismissed a demand by the Conservative leader to "say sorry" for the way he had presented the intelligence in the run-up to the war.

He said that while he had apologised for information which had subsequently turned out to be wrong, he would not apologise for ousting Saddam.

"What I don't in any way accept is that there was any deception of anyone," he told MPs.

"I will not apologise for removing Saddam Hussein. I will not apologise for the conflict. It was right then, is right now and is essential for the wider security of the region and the world."

Mr Howard, who said that he still believed the war was right, added that he simply wanted Mr Blair to accept that he had "misrepresented" the intelligence which he received on Iraqi weapons.

"Why can't he bring himself now to say sorry for that?" he demanded.

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