Back to warmwell.com website


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;sessionid=PXSWW5JQE5DV3QFIQMGCM5OAVCBQUJVC?xml=/news/2005/03/21/nirq21.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/03/21/ixhome.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=26281 Telegraph 21/3/05

Legal rules for Iraq war 'stretched by Blair'

By Brendan Carlin
(Filed: 21/03/2005)

The Prime Minister faced new damaging claims last night about his conduct in the build-up to the Iraq war.

In a BBC Panorama programme to mark the second anniversary of the invasion, Sir Stephen Wall, Mr Blair's former European affairs adviser, said that the Government "stretched the legal argument [over the war] to breaking point".

The claim was coupled with an allegation in the programme that Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, was on record as saying "the facts and the intelligence" were being "fixed round the policy" by President George W Bush's US administration.

The broadcast, entitled Iraq - Tony and the Truth, will dent Labour hopes that Iraq will not be a defining issue for the party in the general election. It may also revive the feud between the BBC and No 10 which climaxed in the death of David Kelly, the government scientist and weapons expert.

In a further development, the issue of the war and trust in Mr Blair will now become a key feature of his own personal re-election campaign after the father of a Royal Military Policeman killed in Iraq announced that he was standing in the Prime Minister's Sedgefield constituency in Co Durham.

Reg Keys, 52, whose son Lance Corporal Tom Keys was one of six Red Caps killed by an Iraqi mob in June 2003, said he was standing to continue his fight for "justice".

In last night's Panorama programme, Robin Cook, the former Foreign Secretary who resigned from the Cabinet over the war, said the "real dishonesty of the Government's position is that Tony Blair could not be frank with the British people about the real reason why he believed Britain had to be part of an invasion".

Rear Admiral Nick Wilkinson, the former secretary of the Defence Notice Committee, told Panorama that "the Government perhaps allowed the public to be misled as to the degree of certainty about WMD".

In a BBC Panorama programme to mark the second anniversary of the invasion, Sir Stephen Wall, Mr Blair's former European affairs adviser, said that the Government "stretched the legal argument [over the war] to breaking point".

The claim was coupled with an allegation in the programme that Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, was on record as saying "the facts and the intelligence" were being "fixed round the policy" by President George W Bush's US administration.

The broadcast, entitled Iraq - Tony and the Truth, will dent Labour hopes that Iraq will not be a defining issue for the party in the general election. It may also revive the feud between the BBC and No 10 which climaxed in the death of David Kelly, the government scientist and weapons expert.

In a further development, the issue of the war and trust in Mr Blair will now become a key feature of his own personal re-election campaign after the father of a Royal Military Policeman killed in Iraq announced that he was standing in the Prime Minister's Sedgefield constituency in Co Durham.

Reg Keys, 52, whose son Lance Corporal Tom Keys was one of six Red Caps killed by an Iraqi mob in June 2003, said he was standing to continue his fight for "justice".

In last night's Panorama programme, Robin Cook, the former Foreign Secretary who resigned from the Cabinet over the war, said the "real dishonesty of the Government's position is that Tony Blair could not be frank with the British people about the real reason why he believed Britain had to be part of an invasion".

Rear Admiral Nick Wilkinson, the former secretary of the Defence Notice Committee, told Panorama that "the Government perhaps allowed the public to be misled as to the degree of certainty about WMD".