Revelations Blair blocked Iraq legal advice

Commenting on revelations, in the newly published full version of Alastair Campbell's diaries, that Tony Blair blocked the UK Government's most senior lawyer from explaining to Cabinet the legality of the war in Iraq, SNP Westminster Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said the new revelations underlined the need for independence.

According to Alastair Campbell the former Prime Ministers 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.

Mr Robertson said:

“These revelations are significant because, while it has long been known that Tony Blair put pressure on Lord Goldsmith to change his legal advice, Alistair Campbell has confirmed that the former prime minister actually blocked the Cabinet from hearing all the evidence over the case for war.

“The tapestry of deceit which was manufactured by Tony Blair – the pretence of making an illegal war legal – has unravelled.

“The complete lack of any credible legal basis for the disastrous Iraq war was well ventilated and understood at the time, yet Labour parliamentarians – aided and abetted by the Tories – followed Tony Blair into backing a war which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

“The Iraq war was the UK’s biggest foreign policy blunder of modern times, and no-one who backed it is fit to hold public office.

“Ed Miliband came out against the war more than seven years after it started – yet said nothing at the time or in those long years after. And Johann Lamont, along with her Labour colleagues, voted in support of war in Iraq in the Scottish Parliament debate on 13 March 2003 – a vote which will long shame the Labour Party in Scotland.

“Those who supported the illegal Iraq war can be in no doubt about their own culpability and the Iraq war is a graphic example of why Scotland should not leave these decisions to Westminster.”

Reports of the revelations in Mr Campbell’s diaries can be found here: