Blair camp readies its defence to Chilcot report

In the wake of the publication of the Chilcot inquiry report, friends of the former prime minister believe he will argue that the ultimate cause of the long-term bloodshed in Iraq was the scale of external intervention in the country by Iran and al-Qaida rather than failures in post-conflict planning.


Blair, frustrated by the repeated delays in the production of the report, has been meeting his allies to discuss his response, but is not planning to make any speech or intervention before publication on 6 July.


Once the Iraq war inquiry report is out, Blair is likely to fight back by arguing the need to look at counter-factual scenarios, including the consequence of leaving Saddam in power, and will continue to insist that the world is safer for the removal of Saddam.


Although no weapons of mass destruction were found, contrary to intelligence community forecasts, Blair is expected to say that Saddam retained the expertise and capacity make such weapons.


Tony Blair is expected to defend his decision to join in the invasion of Iraq by asking his critics to think through the consequences for stability in the Middle East had Saddam Hussein been left in power, capable of developing weapons of mass destruction.



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