Tony Blair to be quizzed by MPs probing Libya policy


Tony Blair will be quizzed by MPs as part of a parliamentary inquiry looking into the UK's foreign policy towards Libya.

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee session will focus on foreign policy during Mr Blair's period as prime minister for 10 years from May 1997.

Mr Blair famously met former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in his desert tent in 2004, after the north African country renounced weapons of mass destruction. He visited him again in 2007.

The meeting marked a key stage in the process of reintegrating Libya into the international community, after years of sanctions over Gaddafi's support for terrorism.

Emails from the account of former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, released earlier this year under American freedom of information laws, suggested that the ex-Labour leader privately urged Gaddafi to stand aside as rebellion erupted against his regime in 2011.

The former prime minister advised Gaddafi to find "a safe place to go" as part of a "managed" process of political change before the situation reached "the point of no return", according to the emails.

And a biography of David Cameron - Cameron At 10, by Sir Anthony Seldon - claimed that Mr Blair telephoned Downing Street at the time to say that he had been contacted by "a key individual close to Gaddafi" and that the Libyan dictator wanted to "cut a deal" with Britain.

The rebels finally overran the capital, Tripoli, in August 2011. Gaddafi was captured and killed two months later.