Blair hits back at Tutu Iraq War criticism

Tony Blair has shrugged off criticism from Desmond Tutu for his part in the Iraq War after the archbishop refused to share a platform with him.

The former Prime Minister said in an interview published yesterday that it was sensible for him and Archbishop Tutu to "agree to disagree," after the veteran peace campaigner pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg saying Mr Blair's action had been "indefensible". The retired church leader reportedly also pulled out of a BBC interview the two were due to take part in.

Mr Blair told The Star newspaper in South Africa: "I don't think you could say that leaving Saddam Hussein in place was a morally superior choice." Asked if he was scared about the possibility of a citizen's arrest after demonstrators demanded a warrant against him on human rights grounds, Mr Blair replied: "I'm still here."

"What I say to these groups is this: 'Why don't you actually go and protest against the people doing the killing?'" he said. "The vast majority of people dying from terrorist activity is Muslim on Muslim violence."

A spokesperson for Mr Blair said earlier this week, he had been disappointed by the archbishop's decision to withdraw "from an event that has been fixed for months and where he and the Archbishop were never actually sharing a platform."