Former UK PM Blair blocked lawyer from giving advice to cabinet on Iraq war
London, June 24 (ANI): Lawmakers in Britain have demanded an emergency recall of the Chilcot inquiry after it was revealed that former Prime Minister Tony Blair had blocked the government's most senior lawyer from explaining to cabinet the legality of the war in Iraq.
According to the Alastair Campbell's diaries, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wanted to 'put the reality' before cabinet ministers that there was a case against, as well as for, military action in March 2003, The Independent reports.
But, according to his former spin doctor, Blair, then PM, feared that the legal opinion was too 'nuanced' and would allow the war's ministerial critics Robin Cook and Clare Short to say that the case had not been made.
The disclosure is significant because, while it has long been suspected that Blair and his inner circle put pressure on Lord Goldsmith to change his legal advice, this is also the first evidence that Blair had actively blocked the cabinet from hearing the full details of the case for war.
MPs from all parties have urged Sir John Chilcot, who has finished taking evidence and is now preparing his report into the Iraq war, to reconvene a special session to hear from Blair, Campbell and Lord Goldsmith.
The former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "According to the diaries, Tony Blair was determined that the decision should not rest with the Cabinet and overruled his Attorney General".
"Sofa government prevailed at the expense of constitutional requirements. The diaries prove that once a decision to go to war against Iraq had been taken, intelligence and legal advice was manipulated to support that decision," he added.
According to Campbell's diaries, Lord Goldsmith warned Blair that he did not want the Prime Minister to 'present it too positively' in favour of military action because there was a 'case to be made the other way'. (ANI)
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