26/09/2003

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."

(gmcg)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 February 2004
Blair confirms inquiry into WMD intelligence
On Sunday, US President George Bush announced the creation of an independent bi-partisan inquiry into intelligence failures over Iraq's, so far, undiscovered WMDs, and today it was Tony Blair's turn to set up a similar inquiry this side of the Atlantic.
10 September 2003
Hoon under fire following secret report ‘leak’
A leaked parliamentary report to the Evening Standard appears to allege that a select committee was misled on the issue of invading Iraq.
05 December 2013
£1bn Towards Free School Meals
£1bn is being unlocked to fund the Department of Education's free school meals commitment. The news, announced by deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, follows an announcement in September that every child in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools will receive a free school lunch.
27 April 2011
Deputy PM Attends First NHS Listening Event For Patients
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Care Services Minister Paul Burstow today heard views from patients at the first listening event on NHS modernisation exclusively for patients. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today also met staff and patients at a listening event at a GP consortium.
18 February 2011
Cameron Faces Clegg In AV Debate
Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have launched their campaigns over the proposed Alternative Vote (AV) electoral system. Discussing his objections to AV, the Prime Minister said an unclear voting system would mean an unaccountable political system producing unfair outcomes.