Studio audience protests while PM makes case for attack

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Tony Blair was slow hand-clapped by a studio audience last night as he made his latest television appeal to convince the public of the case for war with Iraq.</p>He faced the interruption at the end of a tense hour-long debate with 20 women opposed to military action but insisted he was still confident that he could secure fresh UN backing for action against Iraq.</p>Sir Trevor McDonald, the presenter, appealed for Mr Blair to be heard as he was questioned on the Tonight with Trevor McDonald special on ITV1. Mr Blair said: "We have not given him [Saddam] 10 days to disarm, we have given him 10 days to show that he intends fully to co-operate with the inspectors. We are in discussion with other countries now. We have laid it down because we believe that gives enough time for him to show that he's fully co-operating.</p>"But the very reason why we are talking to people is to try to find a way through that brings the UN together."</p>Asked about the prospects of a second UN Security Council resolution, he said: "As I sit here now I'm still confident we can get it. What people are asking us to do is define more precisely for them, to define what it is that would allow us to say, yes he is co-operating or not ... they want to know what it is we mean by him co-operating fully or not."</p>Members of the audience who had lost friends or relatives in the Bali or 11 September bombings appealed to the premier not to put other families through the same horrors.</p>Hannabeth Luke, whose boyfriend was killed in the Bali bombing, said war with Iraq could provoke fresh terrorist attacks on the West.</p>Mr Blair replied: "There's nothing I can say to take away the pain that you feel in this situation but the reason why I'm taking this action is that my worry is if the terrorists are able to get hold of even worse material than they used in the bomb in Bali."</p>Shatha Besarami, an Iraqi exile, said she hated Saddam's regime but appealed for there to be another solution rather than conflict involving dropping 300,000 bombs on Iraq in 48 hours. Mr Blair replied: "I don't know where you get 300,000 bombs in 48 hours. I'm not planning to drop 300,000 bombs on any Iraqi people.</p>"If we go into conflict we will be targeting the military infrastructure of Saddam specifically, because it will be removing him which will be the aim of this."</p>Another member of the audience, Gail Laiser, said she was a Tory voter who had switched to support Labour. But she said she could no longer vote for Mr Blair.</p>Mr Blair replied: "That's your choice in a democracy, you are able to do that. I'm elected to govern and as the Prime Minister I have got to take the decisions I believe are right. And the country has an opportunity to reject the Government if they want to do it." </p>

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