PM ignored intelligence advice on Iraq
Another of Tony Blair's main justifications for war on Iraq was blown apart yesterday by the disclosure that intelligence chiefs had warned that deposing Saddam Hussein would increase the risk of terror attacks on Britain.
The Prime Minister told Parliament and the public earlier this year that the West had to act against Baghdad to prevent chemical and biological weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists.
But exactly two years after al-Qa'ida's 11 September attack, a committee of MPs revealed that the Mr Blair had been told that the threat from Osama bin Laden "would be heightened by military action against Iraq". The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), chaired by the Labour MP Ann Taylor, also criticised the Government's dossier on the Iraqi threat, concluding that key claims should have been omitted or heavily qualified.
The ISC's report put further pressure on Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, accusing him of giving "unhelpful and potentially misleading evidence" on the extent of dissent within the MoD about the dossier.
But the political spotlight switched firmly to Mr Blair himself after the ISC revealed for the first time details of a briefing he received from intelligence chiefs in the run-up to the war.
MPs' SHOCK REPORT: THE WARNINGS BLAIR IGNORED