Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq war will not be ‘very kind’ to Tony Blair

Government minister Andrew Murrison offers stark warning to former PM

Tom Payne
Thursday 08 May 2014 15:54

A government defence minister has warned that the inquiry into the war in Iraq will not be “very kind” to Tony Blair.

Andrew Murrison, Minister for International Security, today said that the findings of the Chilcot Inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War should be released as soon as possible.

"I don’t think it’s going to be very kind to Tony Blair, I don’t think it can be given his involvement in this in 2003," he told The Huffington Post. “I’m not clear why it hasn’t been published already. It is not clear why such an inquiry should take quite so long.”

Mr Murrison added that he would be “disappointed” if the inquiry’s chairman, Sir John Chilcot, was “succumbing to pressure” to delay publication from Tony Blair.

But he added: "Nothing that I've seen of Chilcot would lead me to suggest he would be any way influenced by pressure."

The minister, who served in the war as a Royal Navy medical officer, was one of 15 Conservative MPs who voted against supporting the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Chilcot Inquiry was established in 2009 by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown to address controversies over Britain’s handling of the war.

However the publication date is still unclear and could be delayed until after the 2015 general election.

It comes days after Boris Johnson accused former Prime Minister Tony Blair of being too “eel-like” to ever face criminal prosecution for taking Britain to war in Iraq.

He also told LBC Radio that he felt “guilty” for voting in favour of military action in 2003 during his tenure in Parliament.

He added: “If Chilcot does turn up something that warranted a police inquiry that’s a separate matter that would have to be proceed accordingly.”

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