Blair criticised by top civil servant for keeping Iraq legal advice from Cabinet

The Guardian reports:

The country’s most senior civil servant … said the cabinet should have been told of the attorney general’s doubts about the legality of invading Iraq before Tony Blair went to war.

“The ministerial code is very clear about the need, when the attorney general gives written advice, the full text of that advice should be attached [to cabinet papers]”, Sir Gus O’Donnell told the Iraq inquiry.

The clear implication of his evidence is that Blair breached the code of conduct ministers have a duty to uphold.

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3 Comments

  • Tony Dawsson 29th Jan '11 - 10:13pm

    “Sir Gus O’Donnell (R) said Tony Blair did not believe cabinet was ‘a safe space’ in which to debate going to war”

    This is So comical. Everyone treating these issues So seriously, years after the events of course. The bottom line is that there was never ever a ‘safe space’ between Bliar’s ears. Britain survived ten years with a total basket case as Prime Minister. But nobody had the ‘bottle’ to say anything at the time.

  • I find it difficult to believe anyone who was around at the time – it seems the all have their own agenda and their own ideas as to what happened re Iraq

  • Nick (not Clegg) 31st Jan '11 - 4:18pm

    I am currently reading Andrew Rawnsley’s “the End Of The Party (have you posted a review of that on LDV, Mark?).
    The following quote from page 128 is worthy of repetition:

    ” Blair was brilliant at persuading himself that he was a man of sparkling integrity whatever the evidence to the
    contrary. The nobility of his ends, as he saw them, blinded him as to how others might see his means as
    squalid.”

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