POLITICS

Chilcot Inquiry: Jeremy Corbyn Apologises For Iraq War On Behalf Of Labour Party

'Politicians and political parties can only grow stronger by acknowledging when they get it wrong'

06/07/2016 17:11

Jeremy Corbyn has apolgised on behalf of the Labour Party for Tony Blair's decision to involve the UK in the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"Politicians and political parties can only grow stronger by acknowledging when they get it wrong and by facing up to their mistakes," he said in a speech in central-London on Wednesday afternoon.

"I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003.

"That apology is owed first of all to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the country is still living with the devastating consequences of the war and the forces it unleashed."

"The apology is also owed to the families of those soldiers who died in Iraq or who have returned home injured or incapacitated.

He added: "Finally, it is an apology to the millions of British citizens who feel our democracy was traduced and undermined by the way in which the decision to go to war was taken on the basic of secret ‘I will be with you, whatever’ understandings given to the US president that have now been publicly exposed."

Blair responded to the Report in at a lengthy press conference. "There were no lies, no deceit," he insisted. "I can look not just the families of this country but the nation in the eye and say: 'I did not mislead this country'."

"I made the decision in good faith on the information I had at that time, and I believe it is better that we took that decision."

Corbyn stopped short of calling for Blair to be put on trial. However one of his shadow cabinet ministers today said it should be given "serious consideration".

David Cameron told the Commons that MPs who voted in favour of the war, including himself, had to take a “share of the responsibility”.

The Chilcot Report today revealed Blair promised George Bush in 2002 that “I will be with you, whatever“.

In a damning assessment of the invasion, the long awaited Inquiry concluded today Tony Blair was told invading Iraq would make the UK less safe, relied on intelligence that was flawed, and decided to take military action before all other peaceful options had been carried out.

Blair said today he would “take full responsibility for any mistakes” but still believed “it was better to remove Saddam Hussein.

I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003 Jeremy Corbyn

Former foreign secretary Jack Straw has said “with the benefit of hindsight, different decisions would have been made in Iraq”, adding: “The consequences which flow from the decision to take military action against Iraq will live with me for the rest of my life.”

Unveiling his long awaited report, Sir John said policy on Iraq “was made on the basis of flawed intelligence”.

He said judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”.

And he added the consequences of the 2003 invasion of Iraq were underestimated “despite explicit warnings” and planning and preparation for the period after the fall of Saddam Hussein was “wholly inadequate”.

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