Ten years on public thinks the Gulf war was wrong

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Ten years after the start of the Iraq war, more than half of the British public think it was wrong to invade, research has revealed.

Tuesday marks the tenth anniversary of the start of the war, when British troops joined the US invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

In a poll carried out to coincide with the anniversary, YouGov said 53 per cent of the public think the decision was wrong, while 27 per cent believe it was right.

The figures are an apparent reversal of public opinion since the start of the war, when 53 per cent believed military action in Iraq was right and 39 per cent thought it was wrong.

They also appear to suggest differences between the sexes – almost a third (32 per cent) of men said intervention in Iraq was the correct action, compared to less than a quarter (23 per cent) of women.

According to the poll, which questioned 1,684 British adults online from 10-11 March, more than half (56 per cent) of the public think the war has increased the risk of a terrorist attack on the UK. Nearly a third (30 per cent) say it has made no difference to Britain’s security, while 7 per cent think it has made the UK safer.

The results, which come as YouGov opens up a decade of its archives on Iraq, suggest that public opinion on former prime minister Tony Blair remains unchanged.

A decade on, half of people surveyed believe Mr Blair deliberately set out to mislead the British public about the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the run-up to the war, while less than a third (31 per cent) thought he genuinely believed Saddam Hussein possessed a WMD stockpile.

YouGov’s recent research shows nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of the British public believe the former prime minister knowingly misled parliament and the public and he should be tried as a war criminal over the conflict.