IAIN DUNCAN SMITH: Journalists were still being briefed a week before the invasion that military action could be avoided. To the dismay of the Government, Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory leader, emerged from a meeting with the Prime Minister on 13 March 2003 to tell the nation that war looked almost certain. Duncan Smith argued strongly in favour of the invasion and his party's support guaranteed Blair a Commons majority for the war. By the next election, he had resigned the leadership, but his stance in 2003 made it difficult for the Tories to attack Labour over the war and its aftermath. Duncan Smith still supports the action, but says Blair should have concentrated on the need to topple Saddam rather than the dangers of Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Now a Tory backbencher, he concentrates on inner-city deprivation.