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Tony Blair at the Iraq inquiry:

By jimstaro - Posted on 23 January 2011

Day of regret, Day of reckoning

The Chilcot Inquiry will help write history's verdict on Tony Blair - and he may not like it

Return to the fray: Tony Blair giving evidence Photo: REUTERS

23rd January 2011 - His government did not, in Alastair Campbell’s words, “do God”. But on Friday the gods, yet again, seemed to do Tony Blair a favour.

The QE2 Conference Centre, venue of the Chilcot Inquiry, was patrolled on three sides by hungry TV crews. The police presence was high. Under no illusions about his public, Mr Blair arrived at dawn, nearly two hours before he was due to testify.

This was a potentially humiliating occasion for a former Prime Minister, called back because of “inconsistencies” in his evidence. For the first hour or two, you could see his thumb trembling as he searched on his desk for relevant papers. And it was also the year’s first big media circus, with hundreds of hard journalistic eyes watching for tiny details like that. But then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t, and they weren’t.

At 11.23, in Sky News’ Westminster bureau, where I was hiding from the cold between trips to the QE2, a producer laid a news agency “snap” in front of me. Andy Coulson, the prime minister’s press secretary, was making a “personal statement”. {continued}

Blair should be forced to release secret Iraq files, says his former Cabinet Secretary

Anger: Sir John Chilcot did not hide is frustration and said that he was 'disappointed' that notes of the discussions and private memos would remain under lock and key

23rd January 2011 - Tony Blair should be forced to release secret documents that are believed to show he lied to Parliament over the Iraq War, a former Cabinet Secretary said last night.

The respected mandarin, who served in the last Labour Government, said the ex-Prime Minister was wrong to refuse to release notes of discussions and private memos concerning his pledges to George Bush.

Current Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell came under fire last week after announcing that Mr Blair would not be forced to publish the documents. {continued}


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