Tony Blair Could Be Held In Contempt By Parliament Over Iraq War

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Tony Blair
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair could have his privy councillorship revoked in the wake of the Chilcot inquiry’s publication and be called before parliament for questioning.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says that he will probably support a “contempt” motion in the House of Commons next Thursday against Tony Blair.

Tory backbencher David Davis is expected to table a motion of contempt against the former PM in the coming days, accusing him of deception over the 2003 Iraq war.

Tony Blair The Sunday Express reports:

Mr Davis, the former shadow home secretary, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I’m going to put down a contempt motion, a motion which says that Tony Blair has held the House in contempt.

“It’s a bit like contempt of court. Essentially by deceit.”

“If you look just at the debate alone, on five different grounds the House was misled, three in terms of the weapons of mass destruction, one in terms of the UN votes were going, and one in terms of the threat, the risks.

“He might have done one of those accidentally, but five?”

Mr Davis said if his motion is accepted by Speaker John Bercow, it could be debated before Parliament breaks up for the summer.

If Parliament agreed Mr Blair had held the House in contempt, MPs would have to persuade the authorities “to take the next step”, Mr Davis added.

Appearing on the same show, Mr Corbyn – who this week apologised for the war on behalf of the Labour party – said: “I urge colleagues to read the Butler report and read the Chilcot report about the way in which Parliament was denied the information it should have had, the way in which there was lack of preparations for the post-invasion situation in Iraq and the way there were assertions of weapons of mass destruction.

“Parliament must hold to account, including Tony Blair, those who took us into this particular war.”

Asked if he would back the motion, Mr Corbyn said: “I haven’t seen it yet, but I think I probably would.”

The contempt motion comes after Lord Prescott, the deputy prime minister at the time of the 2003 invasion, claimed the Iraq War was illegal.

Writing in The Sunday Mirror, the peer said: “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.”

Lord Prescott said he had concerns about the way Mr Blair ran his government, with Cabinet ministers given “too little paper documentation” to make decisions.

He also said intelligence reports were based on “discussions at receptions and prejudiced sources”, amounting to “tittle-tattle, not hard evidence”.

The Chilcot report, he added, was a “damning indictment of how the Blair government handled the war – and I take my fair share of blame”.

He said: ”As the deputy prime minister in that Government I must express my fullest apology, especially to the families of the 179 men and women who gave their lives in the Iraq war.”

Sir John Chilcot’s report said the way the decision about the legal basis for the war was reached was “far from satisfactory”, but the report did not rule on the legality of the military action.

Mr Blair has defended the decision to oust Saddam and insisted that his efforts to form a close relationship with the US had persuaded Mr Bush to pursue a second UN security council resolution, which ultimately was not obtained.Tony Blair

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