Jeremy Corbyn apologises for Iraq War – but Alastair Campbell is not having it
The Labour leader lamented Tony Blair's ‘disastrous decision’.
Jeremy Corbyn has issued a shock apology for the Iraq War on behalf of the Labour party.
Corbyn used a speech in London to say he was sorry for Tony Blair's decision to authorise military action in 2003.
He said: “Politicians and political parties can only grow stronger by acknowledging when they get it wrong and by facing up to their mistakes. So I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003.”
He also made a thinly-veiled call for Blair to face war crime charges as he called on Britain to support moves to give the International Criminal Court "the power to prosecute those responsible for the crime of military aggression".
Some Labour figures reacted angrily to Corbyn's apology. Blair’s former communications chief Alastair Campbell told LBC: “Jeremy Corbyn can frankly say what he wants – and also it’s very easy for him to do that as somebody who stood up not just against the Iraq war but pretty much anything else that the Blair government tried to do.
“I’m not going to get drawn on that, I think it’s got more to do with internal Labour party politics than the questions that John Chilcot was looking at.”
And Labour MP Mike Gapes tweeted that Corbyn’s statement was “not in my name”.
However, some Labour MPs did appear to share with their leader’s views today.
Appearing on the BBC’s Daily Politics show, the newly-installed shadow leader of the Commons, Paul Flynn, said suggested that he would like to see Blair prosecuted.
When asked whether he thought action should be taken against Tony Blair following the publication of the Chilcot report, Flynn answered: “I think really there should be serious consideration to him being prosecuted for this but I think this remains to be seen.”
He added: “I think that the important issue here is that it is not just one individual, Parliament's on trial. It wasn't just Tony Blair, it was most of the Labour backbenchers, it was all of the Tory backbenchers - except half a dozen.”
Picture by: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images.