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Transcripts show No 10’s hand in war legal advice

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Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Transcripts of evidence given in private by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, to an official inquiry suggest that the crucial advice on the legality of war, presented to parliament in his name, was written for him by two of Tony Blair’s closest allies.

The document, seen by the Guardian, reveals the attorney general’s private exchanges with Lord Butler during the course of his inquiry into the use of intelligence in the run-up to war against Iraq.
In them, the attorney general suggests his parliamentary statement giving legal backing to Britain’s participation in the invasion was “set out” by Charles Falconer, then Home Office minister, and Baroness Morgan, the prime minister’s director of political-government relations.

In apparent contradiction to his Butler evidence, the attorney general yesterday sought to deny that 10 Downing Street had any influence over his decisive statement.

“It is nonsense to suggest that No 10 wrote the statement,” he said.

So was he lying under oath or to the public? And doesn’t either mean that he should resign?

Shouldn’t Blair apologise for interfering where no politican should? And do we really want to re-elect somebody who encourages and partakes in this sort of behaviour?

This 383rd post was filed under: Election 2005.






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