Iraq WMD may never be found admits Blair

Tony Blair today accepted that Saddam Hussein's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction may never be found.

A year after the war on Iraq, the Prime Minister told MPs that Saddam's secret stockpile may have been "hidden, removed or destroyed".

Asked by the House of Commons Liaison Committee if he would accept or even apologise for going to war for the wrong reasons, Mr Blair said: "It has got rid of Saddam Hussein and he was a tyrant.

"I do not believe there was not a threat in relation to weapons of mass destruction.

"I have to accept the fact that we have not found them, but we have found very clear evidence of intent and desire.

"Whether they were hidden, removed or destroyed, he was in clear breach of UN resolutions."

Mr Blair told the committee: "What I have to accept is that I was very, very

confident that we would find them.

"I was very confident when I spoke to you this time last year that the Iraq Survey Group would find them .

"I have to accept that we have not been found them – that we may not find them."

But he said it would be wrong to now say that Saddam was not a threat.

He would not say it was a mistake to place such great emphasis on WMD in the run–up to the war rather than on regime change.

"It is very important not to go to the other extreme and say that because we have not found WMD that he was not a threat," Mr Blair said.

"The ISG found he had the strategic capacity and intent and he was in multiple breaches of UN resolutions."

Mr Blair insisted that Saddam was a threat to the region and the world.

He said: "I genuinely believe that those weapons were there and that is why the international community came together as they did."