Leaked WMD report is 'damaging blow' for Blair, say Tories

The Tories have claimed that Prime Minister Tony Blair's credibility has suffered "another damaging blow" following a leaked report claiming that a specialist search team had failed to find any Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The interim report by the Iraq Survey Group, which was leaked to journalist Andrew Neil who fronts the BBC's Daily Politics Show, reportedly said that not even minute amounts of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons material have been discovered since Saddam Hussein was toppled from power. The report was allegedly leaked by a source in the Bush administration.

The Tories said that the conclusions of the 1,400 strong team of scientific, military and intelligence experts added further weight to the party's demand for a "full independent judicial inquiry" into the way the Prime Minister committed Britain to war in the Middle East.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram declared: "If this report is accurate, this is another damaging blow to the Prime Minister's credibility. He has repeatedly used the Iraq Survey Group to stonewall criticism on weapons of mass destruction. For months Tony Blair has been assuring the House of Commons and the public that the Iraq Survey Group would find WMD. This report, if confirmed, would be yet another example of why nobody believes a word the Prime Minister says anymore."

Mr Ancram added: "It further underlines the need for an independent judicial inquiry, which we have been demanding for the last four months, to investigate the way this Government handled the build up to the war and its aftermath."


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