Most British people say they ‘will never forgive’ Tony Blair

Former Prime Minister recently admitted he 'profoundly' underestimated the complexity of Middle Eastern politics

Oliver Wright
Political Editor
Thursday 26 May 2016 14:06
The former Prime Minister fears Isis may get a stranglehold on Libya
The former Prime Minister fears Isis may get a stranglehold on Libya

More than half the public say they can "never forgive" Tony Blair for embroiling the UK in the war in Iraq.

A survey carried out by the pollsters YouGov ahead of the publication of the Chilcot Report at the start of July found only 8 per cent think he did nothing wrong.

The former Prime Minister has admitted he "profoundly" underestimated the complexity of Middle Eastern politics and the chaos that would ensue in Iraq and the wider region following the 2003 invasion.

More than 200,000 Iraqis are believed to have died since the conflict began and in the subsequent instability, and many believe it was indirectly responsible for the rise of Isis in the region.

The YouGov research confirms the dim view that the public still has of Mr Blair – once one of the country’s most popular politicians.

A majority (53 per cent) say that they could never forgive him. Just 8 per cent think Mr Blair did nothing wrong, whilst 15 per believe it’s time we forgave him for his misjudgements.

Only 25 per cent of the Labour Party supporters are in favour of forgiving the former Labour PM, demonstrating the extraordinary dismantling of the reputation of this one-time hero of the party.

YouGov research since 2003 has shown a fluctuating but steady decline in public support for the Iraq war.

In polls between March and December 2013, an average of 54 per cent of the public felt it was right to take military action against Iraq, falling to just 26 per cent last year.

The research also showed big discrepencies between the number of people that supported the war at the time, and those that claim to based on recall.

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