Tony Blair criticised in Chilcott Iraq report

Tony Blair faces criticism over his promises to President George W Bush of the UK supporting the US in a war. Picture: AP
Tony Blair faces criticism over his promises to President George W Bush of the UK supporting the US in a war. Picture: AP
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FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair is to be criticised in the Chilcott Report on the Iraq war, it has emerged.

The long awaited report from the inquiry into the war headed by former senior civil servant Sir John Chilcott is set to be published by the end of the month, it has been reported.

It is understood that Sir John is to write to Mr Blair to warn him that he will be criticised in the report over his promises to former Presdent George Bush that the UK would support the USA in a war while negotiations were still taking place at the UN.

However, the inquiry has been stymied by British government’s refusal to allow private correspondence between Mr Blair and President Bush to be published.

The letters between were written in 2002 and are understood to show that Blair offered to support America if Bush decided to attack Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein long before the Cabinet or the Commons gave their assent to the war.

They were also written well before the sexed-up report on Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction and phony intelligence were found to give the invasion a legal fig-leaf.

In a letter this week, to Prime Minister David Cameron Sir John said: “The inquiry intends to write to the relevant individuals at the end of this month informing them that the committee has concluded that there are areas in which some aspect of the part they played means the inquiry is likely to make a criticism.

“The inquiry recognises the seriousness with which any criticism of an individual is likely to be regarded by that individual and it is determined to adopt an approach which is balanced, considered and fair.”

In his response, dated Wednesday, Mr Cameron agreed that the release of this information was crucial before the individuals to be criticised could respond.

He wrote: “I agree that it is important to ensure that those who the inquiry intends to criticise are informed clearly the complex declassification discussions must be completed before this can take place.”