Thursday, May 29, 2003

Blair faces revolt as US admits doubts

Seizing on the "breathtaking" admission by Donald Rumsfeld that Saddam Hussein may have destroyed his weapons, [former foreign secretary Robin Cook] issued a blunt warning to the prime minister that he took Britain to war on a false basis.

"Saying that they can't find the weapons, and they may never find the weapons, blows an enormous gaping hole through the case for war that was made on both sides of the Atlantic," Mr Cook told Chan nel 4 News last night. "That has to be investigated - a [Commons] select committee is one way of pursuing it."

"We were told Saddam had weapons ready for use within 45 minutes. It's now 45 days since the war finished and we still have not found anything ... We could have avoided this war."

Leftwing Labour MPs will step up the pressure on the prime minister when the commons reconvenes next Tuesday. Peter Kilfoyle, the leftwing MP who has tabled a motion demanding evidence of the existence of banned weapons, was scathing. "This is absolutely dangerous for Tony Blair," he said. "The potential charge is that the House of Commons has been misled."

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