Tony Blair strikes back at Nick Clegg over Chilcot report into Iraq war
Former Labour Prime Minister also took a swipe at the Coalition’s 'inaction' over the three-year-long civil war in Syria
Tony Blair hit back at Nick Clegg on Monday after the Deputy Prime Minister condemned the delays dogging publication of Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq inquiry report.
The former Labour Prime Minister also took a swipe at the Coalition’s “inaction” over the three-year-long civil war in Syria.
The Independent disclosed that the Iraq report will not be published until 2015 at the earliest, six years after the Chilcot inquiry was ordered.
That could mean the next general election being fought against the backdrop of heavy criticism of the Blair government’s support for the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Mr Clegg wanted those who faced criticism in the long-awaited document to accept that “it is just time to get this report published”.
He said: “This was one of the most momentous, in my view one of the most catastrophic decisions in British foreign policy - I would say the most catastrophic decision - since Suez.
“It is quite right that as a country we learn the lessons, we understand the truth and that those who might not like to be subject to further scrutiny subject themselves to the further scrutiny which will be included in the Chilcot report”.
In an angry response, a spokesman for Mr Blair said: “If Nick Clegg is implying Tony Blair is the reason for the delay that is completely wrong. Tony Blair has as much reason as anyone for wanting the report published.
“Not least because it gives him a chance to defend himself against Nick Clegg’s assertion that removing Saddam Hussein from power was ‘the most catastrophic decision since Suez’, whilst daily the consequences of inaction over Syria become ever more apparent.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The Cabinet Office has been in a constructive dialogue with the inquiry team over recent months, with a clear view to meeting their declassification requests.
“This has involved several thousand documents, subject only to ensuring that national security and foreign policy objectives are not compromised as provided for in the protocol agreed at the outset of the inquiry. That process should be concluded shortly.”
- 1 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
David Haines remembered: Death of British hostage executed by Isis lamented from the Balkans to Sudan
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Jennifer Lawrence to make public appearance after nude photo leaks as Met Gala Ball 2015 co-host
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...
£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...
Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Qualified and/or experienced te...