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Sir John Chilcot: Tony Blair was not 'straight with the nation' over Iraq

Sir John Chilcot: Tony Blair was not 'straight with the nation' over Iraq
2 min read

Sir John Chilcot has claimed Tony Blair was not “straight” with the British people about the case for invading Iraq. 

In an interview with the BBC a year after his major report on the war was published, Sir John said Mr Blair was being “emotionally truthful” in his evidence to the inquiry.

But he added: “Tony Blair is always and ever an advocate. He makes the most persuasive case he can. Not departing from the truth but persuasion is everything.”

Sir John’s inquiry delivered a damning verdict on Mr Blair’s conduct in the run-up to the Iraq War, claiming he had decided in favour of invasion “before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted”.

Asked whether he believed Mr Blair had been honest with the country in the build-up to the invasion, Sir John said the case had been based on “belief, not on the fact, what the assessed intelligence said”.

“Any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her. I don't believe that was the case in the Iraq instance,” he added.

After the inquiry reported, Mr Blair said its findings had proved he did not lie to convince the country to go to war in Iraq.

In response to Sir John’s latest comments, a spokesperson for the former prime minister said: ”All of these issues were dealt with, in detail, at the two-hour press conference following the publication of the report.”

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