Pro-Iraq War Labour MP attacks Tony Blair's 'hysterical' critics

Mike Gapes hit out at 'hysterical Blair-haters' and the press who he says have already made up their minds

Jon Stone
Thursday 29 October 2015 12:11 GMT
Tony Blair and George Bush launched the invasion
Tony Blair and George Bush launched the invasion (AFP/Getty)

Tony Blair’s “hysterical” critics over the Iraq War and have already made up their minds about the conflict and will not read the Chilcot Report, a Labour MP has said.

Mike Gapes, who voted for the invasion, questioned whether the Inquiry should be published at all and said it was a waste of money.

He also criticised the media and claimed that journalists would not read Sir John Chilcot’s conclusions.

“Why bother wasting money finishing and publishing Chilcot?” he tweeted.

“The hysterical Blair haters have decided already.

“Most journalists and commentators have made up their minds already so won’t bother to read it in any case.”

Mr Gapes, who has been a Labour MP for Illford South since 1992, voted against setting up a judicial inquiry into the war, though for Gordon Brown's 2009 inquiry.

The MP has more recently called for air strikes in Syria and a ground invasion by Arab forces in the region.

He has also made his dislike of his party’s new leadership well known, engaging in running skirmishes with supporters of Jeremy Corbyn on social media.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes (Varinder Singh/Creative Commons)

Mr Corbyn said during the leadership election that he would apologise for the war.

At the weekend it was reported that former PM Mr Blair had apologised for faulty intelligence into the war and admitted it was responsible for the current situation in Iraq.

Large parts of the country are currently under the control of the Isis militant group, which wants to establish a so-called “Islamic State”.

On Thursday Sir John Chilcott announced that the two million word report would be ready in June of July 2016.

The inquiry began in November 2009 and is exacted to cost taxpayers £10m.

Tens to hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the invasion and its aftermath.

The public pretext for war, that then dictator Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction", is also widely believed to have been false.

Correction: The headline of this piece has been changed to better reflect its content

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