Iraq: Former minister asks 'what more could Tony Blair have done before invading?'

Iraq: 'We must identify who was responsible for not replacing poor Land Rovers'

Snatch Land Rovers were lightly armoured

Monday, August 21, 2017

A former minister in Tony Blair's government has defended the Prime Minister over Iraq, saying the Prime Minister made the best decision with the resources available to him.

However Lord Falconer also said we need to identify who was responsible for not replacing lightly armoured Land Rovers used in Iraq so that we don't repeat the same mistakes.

Falconer held various positions in Blair's cabinet during his 10 years in power, and believes the long-time Pirme Minister has been unfairly criticised over the Iraq invasion. 

“Politicians have got to be absolutely careful and astute to ensure they’ve got the right advisors but Tony [Blair] had the intelligence services of the United Kingdom who had a good reputation," he told James Whale. 

"What more could he have done?"

Defence secretary Michael Fallon has reportedly apologised to the mother of a British soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, whilst travelling in a Snatch Land Rover. The Chilcot Inquiry found there was a delay in replacing those Land Rovers susceptible to bombs.

Falconer told James: "The problem was that somebody in the Ministry of Defence wasn’t saying 'we need better vehicles.'

"The disappointment of the Chilcot Inquiry in that respect is that it also fails to identify who the faceless person was and equally also failed to identify which department [failed to replace the Land Rovers].

“If you want to make change in relation to why mistakes like these happen you’ve got to identify who it was, who was at fault, and it’s disappointing that Chilcot didn’t manage to do that.”

Falconer added that the issue “feels like utter incompetence or a desire to focus on other pet projects and being unwilling to shift one's thinking and recognise that one needs to deal with the problem as it’s arising.”

Listen to the full interview above