Protests are taking place in Westminster today as the long-awaited Chilcot report into the into the second Iraq War is published.
The 12-volume report, which consists of 2.6 million words and took Sir John Chilcot seven years to compile and criticises the decision making in the lead up to the 2003 conflict.
During a rally on Wednesday (July 6) outside Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Green MP Caroline Lucas said Tony Blair , the Prime Minister at the time of the invasion, must be held to account and called him a “war criminal”, while branding the conflict itself “illegal and immoral”.
Among the key findings of the report are:
The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before “peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted” and “military action at that time was not a last resort”
Saddam Hussein posed “no imminent threat” at the time of the invasion
The UK’s decision to act despite no second United Nations resolution backing military action in March 2003 had the effect of “undermining the Security Council’s authority”.
Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s decision that there was a legal basis for UK involvement in invasion was taken in a way which was “far from satisfactory”
Prime Minister Tony Blair’s September 2002 Commons statement and dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) made judgments that “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said the report underlined everything the group had been saying for more than a decade.
She said: “We have been saying for years that Blair was disregarding the UN and was in this hideous relationship with George Bush.
“Chilcot should not be the end of the matter - it must be the beginning of legal and political action against Blair.”
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said: “This report confirms what we already knew - that the Blair government led Britain into a disastrous war on a drumbeat of exaggerated threats, guesswork dressed as intelligence, and windy rhetoric."