Labour loyalists turn against Blair over war

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Satwant Gill has always voted Labour. Like most of her fashionable London friends, she was jubilant when Tony Blair replaced John Major. But claims that intelligence was manipulated to make the case for war against Iraq have raised serious doubts over the sincerity of the Prime Minister.

"He needs to lose that smug grin and stop being so patronising and telling us that maybe we don't need to know the full details over Iraq. I trust Blair less now and I don't know if I will believe him in future," she said. "I have always voted Labour, but I don't want to be hoodwinked over Iraq.''

Ms Gill, 41, a film promoter, is among a growing number of Labour supporters who have lost faith in Mr Blair over Iraq.

Tommy Lees, 61, who lives in a council flat in south-west London, says the row over weapons of mass destruction has cost Labour his vote. "Look at France and the other countries. They didn't jump in feet first. We should have given the weapons inspectors more time," he said yesterday.

Some Labour supporters, such as Connie Johnson, are shifting to the Liberal Democrats. Mrs Johnson, 82, of Sussex, was a Labour ward secretary who spoke alongside Herbert Morrison, deputy prime minister under Clement Attlee. Ministers had not yet produced the evidence for weapons of mass destruction, she said. "There have been a lot of things where they have fiddled the facts and I just don't like that. I am suspicious by nature and this makes me more so."

Nick Taylor, 40, an Oxford-educated English teacher, believes the handling of the Iraq crisis "is another negative that has to be added to earlier concerns about Blair''.

Jane Edwards, 35, an arts consultant from Lancashire, said that she would no longer vote Labour and had become "very uneasy about the whole political process".

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