Public ‘want to see Tony Blair punished’ says David Davis

There is a motion that will claim Mr Blair deceived MPs over the Iraq invasion. Picture: Getty
There is a motion that will claim Mr Blair deceived MPs over the Iraq invasion. Picture: Getty
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The public want to see Tony Blair punished, a senior Tory has said as MPs prepare a Commons motion to find the former prime minister in contempt of Parliament.

David Davis said “quite a lot” of MPs already support the motion, which will claim Mr Blair deceived MPs over the invasion. He intends to put the motion before Speaker John Bercow on Thursday, and if granted, MPs could debate it on 18 or 19 July, before parliament breaks up for the summer.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he will back the motion, saying he “probably would” support the effort to find a parliamentary way to hold the former prime minister to account.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was one of the group behind the parliamentary motion, which has been meeting in private for some weeks to plan the move.

She said: “The Chilcot report is a damning indictment of Blair’s record. It showed that the former prime minister actively deceived Parliament and led this country into a disastrous and bloody war under false pretences.

“I’m joining with fellow MPs to hold Blair to account by tabling a contempt motion which could see him barred from public office and have his privy counsellorship stripped from him.”

Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett, who was in the Cabinet at the time of the vote on the war, said: “The people behind this contempt motion were always going to use the Chilcot report for their own ends. It is, however, very clear from the Chilcot report that Tony Blair did not lie, did not falsify intelligence and that the Cabinet was not misled on the presentation of the legal advice.

Meanwhile, Labour heavyweight Lord Prescott used his strongest language yet to condemn Mr Blair’s decision to take part in the Iraq war, a decision he supported at the time. The Chilcot report was a “damning indictment of how the Blair government handled the war – and I take my fair share of blame”, he said.

He added that cabinet ministers were given “too little paper documentation” to make decisions and intelligence reports were based on “discussions at receptions and prejudiced sources”, amounting to “tittle-tattle, not hard evidence”.