Blair's legacy will be one of a man craving power and influence over caution, advice and common sense

Published Jul 06, 2016

Mike_Hookem.jpgUKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has blasted former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair for his determination in taking the UK into conflict against Iraq saying his legacy will "always be one of a man craving power and influence over caution, advice and common sense."

Mr Hookem added that Mr Blair was "a fool, blinded by his own self importance and slavish devotion to President Bush, as today's report makes clear."

His comments came following the release of Sir John Chilcot's report into the 2003 invasion of Iraq which found the decision to take the UK to war was not the "last resort" it was presented to Parliament as, due to peaceful operations for disarmament not having been exhausted.

Speaking from Strasbourg, former soldier Mr Hookem said "Blair's quest for personal prestige on the international stage, the failure of the intelligence community and the failure of MPs to properly research the UN's reasons for not backing military action led to the UK's Armed Forces being condemned to seven years of hell for which they were under equipped and not properly supported.

"The report shines a spotlight on the glaring failures of the government to have any kind of pre or post conflict planning which would inevitably lead to the rise of another fundamentalist group as we now have with Da'esh.

"Each and every one of those involved in taking the UK into Iraq should hang their heads in shame as they have failed both the Armed Forces and the British people as a whole.

"But most of all, Sir John Chilcot paints a portrait of Tony Blair as a manipulative man, blinded by his own self importance, who became nothing more than a lapdog to a US administration desperate for action.

"The focus for Blair on the 'public presentation' of the argument for military action shows his focus was on spin and PR rather than the best interests of the country.

"The catalogue of failures highlighted in the Chilcot report also raises further questions over how poorly British troops were equipped to deal with the post conflict troubles both in planning and necessary equipment and how specialist military advice was ignored."

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