Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Blair 'did not mislead over Iraq'

Former prime minister Tony Blair did not mislead Parliament in the run-up to the Iraq War, Alastair Campbell says

Former prime minister Tony Blair did not mislead Parliament in the run-up to the Iraq War, Alastair Campbell insisted.

In an emotionally charged interview Mr Blair's former communications chief said the former leader was a "totally honourable man".

A clearly upset Mr Campbell paused several times to gather his thoughts as he was questioned on BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show.

Mr Campbell gave evidence to Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry last month but later issued a clarification about his answer to one of the key questions.

He said he had "misunderstood" a question and in a memo to the inquiry said he feared he had given the wrong impression that the then prime minister could have claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction "beyond doubt" even if intelligence chiefs disagreed.

Mr Marr asked him: "If beyond doubt is not established in the intelligence when this inquiry looks at the intelligence, does it then follow, yes or no, the prime minister misled Parliament?"

Mr Campbell replied: "The prime minister did not mislead Parliament."

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