We were misled, say families of British dead

When Tony Blair was preparing Britain for the war in Iraq 12 months ago, he had the unanimous backing of the families of the nation's troops who were being sent there. But now many of the relatives of the 58 Britons who have died in Iraq are openly accusing Mr Blair of having misled them about the case for invading the country. Four who spoke to The Independent on Sunday believe Lord Hutton's inquiry exposed deep flaws in the intelligence used to justify war.

Julie Maddison, mother of Marine Christopher Maddison, killed in an alleged friendly fire incident near Basra, 30 March.

"Do they think the British are stupid? I find it incredible that these people work together in government and all have different ideas about what went on. Why should Geoff Hoon have different information from the Prime Minister?

"The Hutton report was a total whitewash, and it's disgraceful that the Government was cleared of any blame whatsoever. You have to admire the BBC. There were mistakes there, and they put their hands up to it and apologised. I can't believe the report was so one-sided.

Peter Brierley, father of L/Cpl Shaun Brierley, killed in a road accident, 30 March.

"I have always said, if we were misled, Tony Blair should resign as Prime Minister. If he actually lied, he should resign from Parliament, and it's getting more and more likely that he lied.

"Geoff Hoon is clinging on by his fingertips but Blair is getting away with it, and it's not right. He probably knew, and if he didn't, he was stupid. He's doing a lot of damage to the Labour Party."

Byron Long, brother of Royal Military Police Cpl Paul Long, killed by Iraqi civilians near Basra, 24 June.

"If Tony Blair had told the truth from the very beginning, instead of giving us this crap about the 45 minutes and WMD, he would have a lot more respect.

"They gave us all these 'truths' about Iraq but now they're turning around and saying our intelligence wasn't correct. We've one of the best secret services in the world, and they can't even get some intelligence right.

"We feel more bitter - my brother was serving his country and carrying out the orders of the Prime Minister, who lied to get him out there."

Richard Green, father of Lt Philip Green, killed in a Sea King collision, 22 March.

"Tony Blair is a lawyer - he knows what he's saying. To turn around and say, 'Oh well, I really didn't mean that' about the danger posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons is utterly disgraceful. If the man had any conscience at all he would resign. He should do the honourable thing, but I know he won't.

"The question everyone has to ask is who knew what about the 45-minute claim."

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