Chilcot report: Alex Salmond calls for legal action against Tony Blair

'After such carnage, people will ask inevitable questions of was conflict inevitable and worthwhile? The answer from Chilcot is undoubtedly no. And who is responsible? The answer is undoubtedly Tony Blair. There must now be a consideration of what political or legal consequences are appropriate for those responsible'

Siobhan Fenton
Wednesday 06 July 2016 12:29
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Alex Salmond poured scorn on suggestions he pushed Nicola Sturgeon into calling a second Scottish independence referendum
Alex Salmond poured scorn on suggestions he pushed Nicola Sturgeon into calling a second Scottish independence referendum

Alex Salmond has said legal action against Tony Blair must be considered following the publication of the Chilcot Report into the Iraq War.

In a statement, the SNP politician said: "In the days, weeks and months ahead, the intimate detail of this report will only implicate further a former Prime Minister who recklessly committed the country to war without collective judgement, and personally failed to ensure there was a plan for delivering a future for the people of Iraq.

”After such carnage, people will ask inevitable questions of was conflict inevitable and worthwhile? The answer from Chilcot is undoubtedly no. And who is responsible? The answer is undoubtedly Tony Blair. There must now be a consideration of what political or legal consequences are appropriate for those responsible.“

The Chilcot report says then-Prime Minister Tony Blair was convinced that weapons of mass destruction existed when he ordered the invasion of Iraq. However, it finds intelligence information given to him “did not justify” this certainty,

The report concludes: “The decision to use force – a very serious decision for any government to take – provoked profound controversy in relation to Iraq and became even more controversial when it was subsequently found that Iraq’s programmes to develop and produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons had been dismantled. It continues to shape debates on national security policy.

“Although the coalition had achieved the removal of a brutal regime which had defied the United Nations and which was seen as a threat to peace and security, it failed to achieve the goals it had set for a new Iraq.”

In a statement Tony Blair said: "These are serious criticisms and they require serious answers. I will respond in detail to them later this afternoon. I will take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse.

"I will at the same time say why, nonetheless, I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world.

"Above all I will pay tribute to our Armed Forces. I will express my profound regret at the loss of life and the grief it has caused the families, and I will set out the lessons I believe future leaders can learn from my experience."

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