'It was the wrong decision' - Lord Campbell dismisses Blair's Iraq defence

Lord Walter Menzies Campbell dismisses Tony Blair's defence of Iraq War decision following Chilcot report

Lord Campbell agreed with the Chilcot report's verdict

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lord Walter Menzies 'Ming' Campbell has dismissed Tony Blair's defence of his decision to invade Iraq following the release of the Chilcot report. 

Sir John Chilcot ruled the reasons for going into Iraq were fundamentally flawed, but that Blair had acted in good faith in his tenure as Prime Minister, and therefore hadn't lied to the public and parliament.

Campbell, who was the former leader of the Liberal Democrats and opposed to the 2003 invasion, agreed with this assessment and praised the report for considering all the evidence.

"He [Chilcot] would only have been able to say Tony Blair had lied if he had been satisfied there was evidence," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "That, I think, is a measure of the balanced nature of this report.

"But you can't escape the fact the report says this was the wrong decision. Sir John Chilcot has set out compelling reasons for this judgment. 

"All of these reasons were all available in March 2003."

Tony Blair gave an emotional press conference where he defended the decision to go into Iraq, saying he'd believed it to be “the right decision". 

"When Blair was cornered by the evidence, he's always taken refuge in the expression of 'it's the right thing to do'," added Campbell. "I think he does believe when issues of this kind arise, you have to be satisfied it's the right thing to do.

"But if it turns out to be the wrong thing to do, then where are you? We knew the inspectors were making progress, but they hadn't found any evidence of chemical or biological weapons and still no evidence of nuclear capability, and they were still able to go in.

"Chilcot made it clear the diplomatic process of inspection was still going on, and the intelligence came from one source who said he'd made this up because he was determined to make conflict between the USA and Saddam Hussein.

"You only have to look at Tony Blair to know this is a man who lives with this 24 hours a day."