Sir Tony Blair’s critics have called for the former Prime Minister to forfeit his knighthood, claiming that declassified documents show he was “determined to take military action in Iraq”.
MPs have heard the ex-PM’s January 2022 knighthood – which he received for his services as PM from 1997 to 2007 – is “an insult to every single life lost” in the war he backed in 2003.
Speaking in a debate at the House of Commons today, Neale Hanvey, the Scottish Alba MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, claimed documents declassified in 1998 show he was determined to send British troops to the Middle East.
Mr Hanvey highlighted passages in the documents in which it was suggested by lawyers that the move would break international laws.
He claimed the then PM “prosecuted two wars against lawful advice and instruction”, and that his knighthood “should be withdrawn forthwith”.
READ MORE: Adele says former PM Sir Tony Blair and Iraq war influenced one of her hits
Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Hanvey highlighted passages from a 900-page document regarding the decision-making in the lead-up to Operation Desert Fox – the four-day joint bombing campaign by the US and UK in 1998.
He said the documents included entries showing that Foreign Office officials had advised him the only justification for deploying British servicemen to Iraq was that the UN Security Council had authorised the move.
Mr Hanvey added that the documents later revealed then Solicitor General for England and Wales, Lord Falconer, had warned lawyers had “argued very strongly that it would be the first time since 1956 that the UK had used force without the backing of the Security Council resolution”.
Lord Falconer had allegedly added some lawyers may resign, fearing they would be told to implement decisions “they believed were incompatible with international law”.
Steve Bray will be bellowing his support for Brexit with this shock scenario[COMMENT]
Keir Starmer won’t need to give Tony Blair a job – he’ll be the real PM[ANALYSIS]
Lee Anderson blasts Tony Blair bid for new Middle East peace job[REPORT]
Discussing the documents, Declassified UK concluded there was “a de facto acknowledgement that the threshold demanded by Britain’s legal advisers—new Security Council authorisation—had not been met”.
Mr Hanvey said the documents show he “was determined to take military action against Saddam Hussein in 1998 against explicit advice and in the absence of sound legal arguments or justification”.
And he added they make it clear that Sir Tony “misled Parliament” when he told the House of Commons the UK would take military action on December 17, 1998.
Speaking at the time, he said: “I have no doubt that we have the proper legal authority, as it is contained in successive Security Council resolution documents.”
Mr Hanvey dubbed the former PM’s knighthood “an insult to every single life lost” and called for it to be “withdrawn forthwith and a path to full justice secured”.
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading
He added: “Governments should not lie to go to war, and the truth must now be told.”
Following the 2016 Chilcot inquiry, which examined the UK’s involvement in Iraq between 2001 and 2009, the former PM denied misleading the country.
He said: “I did not mislead this country. I made the decision in good faith and I believe it is better we took that decision. I acknowledge the mistakes and accept responsibility for them.
“What I cannot and will not do is say we took the wrong decision … As this report makes clear, there were no lies, there was no deceit.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Sir Tony’s representatives for comment.
Source: Read Full Article