Tony Blair faces calls for Iraq war legal action after Chilcot report


Tony Blair is facing growing calls to be brought to court over his role in taking Britain to war with Iraq following the damning verdict of the Chilcot Report.

The former prime minister has been put on notice by families of dead servicemen that he may face legal action over what flowed from his decision to tell US president George Bush "I will be with you whatever" eight months before the 2003 invasion.

 Prime Minister Tony Blair (right) alongside former US President George Bush.
Questions were raised about conversations Blair and Bush had before launching a war on Iraq (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Meanwhile, shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn said the Iraq Inquiry's findings amounted to an "utter condemnation" of Blair's "terrible" decision to commit British troops to the US-led invasion and prosecution of the former statesman should be given "serious consideration".

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he would like to see Blair investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a crime of aggression and face parliamentary action to stop him holding public office again.

A former British ambassador to the UN has said the UK was "pushed" into entering military action too early by the US.

note on Iraq sent from former prime minister Tony Blair to US President George Bush.
The note that Blair sent to Bush on the decision to invade Iraq (Iraq Inquiry/PA)

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will face questioning on the implications of the report's devastating findings for Britain's future role in the world, when he appears before a Commons committee on Thursday.

A defiant Blair refused to accept accusations from service families that he had been wrong and reckless, as he insisted he would make the decision to go to war again if presented with the same information about the threat posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein at the time.

Blair's stance was at odds with the report's finding that war was not the last resort, but that Britain triggered military action before all options for a peaceful resolution to the crisis had been exhausted.

handwritten letter sent by the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to George Bush, former President of the United States, is seen as part of the Iraq Inquiry Report presented by Sir John Chilcot at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, London.
A letter Blair sent to Bush (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Families of some of the 179 military personnel killed in Iraq described the former PM as a "terrorist", and Jeremy Corbyn offered an apology on Labour's behalf for what he branded "a stain on our party and our country".

Blair insisted he could look the families in the eye - and the nation - and state that he did not mislead anyone over the invasion, the service personnel did not die in vain, and he was right to do what he did.

The long-delayed Chilcot Report insisted Hussein posed "no imminent threat" at the time of the invasion, and the war was unleashed on the basis of "flawed" intelligence.