Iraq war was illegal, says Blair's former deputy

2016-07-10 10:50
Tony Blair (AP)

Tony Blair (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Tony Blair's deputy as prime minister when Britain joined the invasion of Iraq has said he believes the war was illegal, days after a long-awaited report excoriated Britain's role in the conflict.

John Prescott, number two in the Labour government when Britain took part in the US-led invasion in 2003, made the remarks in a piece to be published in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

On Wednesday, the Chilcot report returned a damning verdict on Britain's role in the US-led war, finding it joined the conflict before all peaceful options had been exhausted and that judgements about Iraq's capacities were "presented with a certainty that was not justified".

'Sorrow, regret and apology'

It also disclosed Blair had written to then US president George W. Bush that "I will be with you, whatever" eight months before the invasion.

Prescott, now a member of the House of Lords, wrote: "I will live with the decision of going to war and its catastrophic consequences for the rest of my life.

"In 2004, the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said that as regime change was the prime aim of the Iraq war, it was illegal.

"With great sadness and anger, I now believe him to be right."

Blair this week voiced "sorrow, regret and apology" over mistakes made in the conflict.

But he insisted the war was right and the world was safer without toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has apologised on behalf of the party for what he called "the disastrous decision" to go to war.

Some 150 000 Iraqi people were killed in the six years after British and American troops invaded, plunging the country into chaos and creating fertile ground for jihadist groups like the Islamic State.

A total of 179 British troops also died.

Read more on:    george w bush  |  tony blair  |  iraq  |  uk  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.