UK lawmakers: Not enough evidence to probe Blair over Iraq


Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair won't face an investigation into whether he misled Parliament before the 2003 Iraq invasion unless new evidence emerges, a committee of lawmakers said Thursday.

A seven-year official inquiry into the war cleared Blair of allegations that he had made a "personal and demonstrable decision to deceive Parliament or the public," Parliament's Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee said.

The committee said that several probes into the divisive war don't "provide a sufficient basis" for a parliamentary investigation.

The decision to enter the U.S.-led war was the most contentious act of Blair's decade as prime minister between 1997 and 2007. By the time British combat forces left Iraq in 2009, the conflict had killed 179 U.K. troops, almost 4,500 U.S. personnel and more than 100,000 Iraqis.

The Iraq War Inquiry led by retired civil servant John Chilcot concluded last year that Blair led Britain into the war through a mix of flawed intelligence, inadequate planning and poor judgment. But it refrained from saying whether the invasion was legal and didn't accuse Blair of deliberately misleading the public or Parliament.

The parliamentary committee said that there still aren't strong measures to prevent a prime minister from sidelining senior Cabinet colleagues when deciding to go to war.

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin said that before the Iraq invasion, "there was a lack of collective Cabinet decision-making, at a time when clear thinking and a culture of challenge was most needed."

"The failure to engage Cabinet on such decisions cannot be allowed to happen again, but there is no mechanism to ensure that," he said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest
8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest

Every player from an 8-and-under football team in Belleville, Illinois, took a knee in protest during the national anthem before their game on Saturday, according to KTVI. “One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'” said Coach...
Hurricane Maria: Live updates
Hurricane Maria: Live updates

Hurricane Maria is bearing down on the Caribbean and is set to pass over much the same area devastated by Hurricane Irma nearly two weeks ago. >> Read more trending news 
Doctor realizes she's going into labor after delivering patient's baby
Doctor realizes she's going into labor after delivering patient's baby

In the early morning hours of July 28, Dr. Emily Jacobs noticed that her own water had broken just after delivering a third baby during her shift -- taking her from the role of doctor to patient. "I noticed what I thought was amniotic fluid of the patient as the baby was delivering. It wasn't until I left the room when I realized that it was my...
These are the 'Most Dangerous' celebrities on the internet, according to a new survey
These are the 'Most Dangerous' celebrities on the internet, according to a new survey

What do Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Katy Perry have in common? Besides fame, that is? They’re “dangerous” online — at least according to McAfee, the cybersecurity company, who tracks and ranks celebrities based on the search results for their name. Using Google, Bing and Yahoo...
Mother speaks out after her children are barred from school after principal denies their residency
Mother speaks out after her children are barred from school after principal denies their residency

Four children have been barred from a Memphis, Tennessee, school after its principal denies their residency. For nearly two weeks, Erica Smith, the mother of those children, says she has fought to get them re-enrolled in Snowden School since they were barred from attending by Principal Jamie Stallsmith Sept. 8. Over a week later, Smith is facing a...
More Stories