Tony Blair’s reaction

Reaction from Tony Blair to the highly critical Chilcot report: The Iraq Inquiry

BBC: Blair sorry for families but defends war

Tony Blair has apologised to the families of those killed in the 2003 Iraq War, accepting that they will never “forget or forgive him”.

The former prime minister said he felt sorrow and regret beyond what “people may ever know” at the loss of life.

He accepted intelligence had been wrong and post-war planning had been poor.

But he insisted that he did what he thought was the “right thing” at the time and he still believed Iraq was “better off” without Saddam Hussein.

BBC: Chilcot report: Tony Blair’s Iraq War case not justified

In a statement to the media, his voice at times cracking with emotion, the former Labour prime minister said the decision to commit troops was the “most agonising and momentous” decision in his decade as prime minister, adding that he would “carry it with me for the rest of my days”.

“I feel deeply and sincerely in a way that no words can properly convey the grief and sorrow of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq – whether our armed forces, the armed forces of other nations or Iraqis.

“The intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong, the aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted and bloody than ever we imagined…. and a nation whose people we wanted to set free from the evil of Saddam became instead victims of sectarian terrorism.

“For all of this, I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe.”

But he was defiant on the central decision to go to war, saying “there were no lies, Parliament and Cabinet were not misled, there was no secret commitment to war, intelligence was not falsified and the decision was made in good faith”.

In a nearly two hour news conference he said he would never agree that those who died or were injured in Iraq “made their sacrifice in vain” as they had played their part in “the defining global security struggle of the 21st century against the terrorism and violence which the world over destroys lives, divides communities”.

Quizzed about what he was apologising for, he said: “There is no inconsistency in expressing my sorrow for those that have lost their lives – my regret and my apology for the mistakes – but still saying I believe the decision was right. There is no inconsistency in that.”

He said the US would have launched an invasion “either with or us or without us”, adding: “I had to decide. I thought of Saddam and his record, the character of his regime. I thought of our alliance with America and its importance to us in the post 9/11 world and I weighed it carefully with the heaviest of hearts.”

Mr Blair, who was PM from 1997 to 2007, conceded that intelligence on Iraq’s weapons had “turned out to be wrong” and the invasion had destabilised Iraq but said he still believed the country was “better off” without Saddam, comparing it with the situation in Syria where the decision had been taken not to intervene.

He also said he should have “disclosed” the attorney general’s legal advice to the Cabinet on the eve of war – but he defended his close relationship with President Bush, saying: “we are better to be strongly onside with the US”, arguing that it was “better for our own security”.

Full statement: Chilcot report: The Iraq Inquiry

Website: The Iraq Inquiry

Leave a comment


  1. “The intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong”

    Blair is lying, he misrepresented the information given to them.

    “Tony Blair’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction were simply not an accurate reflection of the intelligence provided to the British government.”

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  7th July 2016

      I’m in serious danger of agreeing with Ugly’s conspiracy theory this time!

  2. Blazer

     /  7th July 2016

    Like the Clintons,Bush’s…Blair is a protected species,a Wall St puppet.His paymasters are J.P Morgan,all about oil with Tony(BP),whats a bit of ‘collateral damage’!


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