Sir John Chilcot: Tony Blair Went ‘Beyond The Facts’ On Iraq And Damaged Public Trust For Years

Chilcot said that he had gleaned from former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that the Cabinet failed to challenge the PM because he had won two general elections.

“Tony Blair had, as leader of the opposition and in government, rescued his party from a dire predicament.  I had the sense from Straw’s answer that he had achieved a personal and political dominance, a sheer psychological dominance.

“’He [Blair] had been right. Was he not right this time?’ That’s what I took from Mr Straw’s evidence.”

On the vexed issue of the ‘missing’ weapons of mass destruction (WMD) Chilcot also concluded that undocumented destruction and despatch of weapons took place on a vast scale after the first Gulf war.

Many people thought the gap between what was recorded as being destroyed and what Saddam had was seen as “a hidden arsenal”. “It was nothing of the sort. It was an accounting problem, quite simply”.

Speaking after the session, Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie said: “Sir John’s evidence confirmed what many of us have long suspected – in making his case for war, Mr Blair went beyond the facts.

“In doing so Mr Blair eroded the trust of the electorate in its leaders, a shocking legacy.”

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