Tony Blair, the former prime minister has appeared before the Chilcott Enquiry into the Iraq war for the second time.
Prior to his appearance, he was asked to answer over 100 questions relating to his decision making at the time war was first considered.
As he arrived at the enquiry, he was heckled and booed by protesters angry that he committed the UK to a war that was not of our doing.
The jeering continued in the gallery as he spoke to apologise for giving the impression that he did not regret the loss of life spent in the war. Calls of, ‘Too late!’ greeted his apology and his words of regret over those soldiers and airmen that lost their lives.
Last year he was accused of cynicism when he announced that profits from the sale of his autobiography would go to the fund for veterans of the conflict.
In his evidence he confirmed that he had offered George Bush unconditional support for an invasion of Iraq nearly a year before the war began but reiterated that he had stated there were difficulties in going ahead without a UN resolution. He agreed that notes sent at the highest level documenting the decisions made at the time needed to be kept secret in the public interest, although the members of the enquiry panel had been allowed to see them.
He said that he felt the effect of 9/11 had shown the world that Saddam Hussein needed to be dealt with and he advocated a ‘gung-ho’ approach to dealing with the dictator.
The premise for the war was the supposed stores of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ held by Iraq which subsequently turned out to be untrue and led to further controversy following the suspicious death of Dr David Kelly, the chief government weapons inspector in Iraq.
Ironically, he used a portion of his time giving evidence to talk about the new threat to the world from Iran. From his standpoint as a Middle East Peace Envoy he told the enquiry that notice must be taken of a country that hates the west and all it stands for and which will do all it can to destabilise the Middle East.
Many fear that this will become the new Iraq and could lead to nuclear conflagration in the Middle East
The enquiry continues.