Did Tony Blair suppress legal advice on Iraq War?

Written on:June 25, 2023
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Tony Blair faces new accusations over Iraq War

Former prime minister Tony Blair has scraped claims that he used his power to suppress legal advice which could have prevented the Cabinet from okaying the Iraq War.

The ex-PM’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell put down in his diaries in March 2003 that Blair barred Attorney General Lord Goldsmith from explaining fully to the ministers the realities of the Iraq War.

Adversaries of the Iraq War recently accessed the spin doctor’s controversial journal entry to find that the Attorney General advised the then-prime minister to consider the cases both for and against military action in Iraq.

However, Tony Blair was apprehensive that the intricate legal statements could have influenced ministers such as Clare Short and Robin Cook and come in the way of Britain’s move to send troops to Baghdad, Campbell noted in his journal.

It is understood that the lawyer wanted Blair not to push the case for military action too strongly, as he believed there were ample reasons to overrule it. Lord Goldsmith wanted that just in case the Cabinet approved military action in Iraq, he “had to be able to put the reality to them [ministers]”, the diary read.

While both Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair said yesterday that the diary had been construed in a wrong way, the fresh claims created ruckus in the House with MPs demanding an immediate callback of the Chilcot Inquiry.

Questions involving the legalities of the Iraq War have been continuously haunting the former Labour prime minister since he left Downing Street five years ago.

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