British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the Iraq War Inquiry report and its findings during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, and announced a further two-day discussion in the House of Commons.
Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, who was one among a minority of parliamentarians who had against the resolution proposing U.K.’s entry into the war, and who was subsequently a key figure in the anti-war group Stop War, described the war as an “act of military aggression launched on a false pretext”. “We now know that the House was misled in the run-up to the war and the House must now decide how to deal with it 13 years later,” he said.
Former International Development Secretary, Claire Short, who had resigned from Mr. Blair’s Cabinet in protest, said “I tried my damndest to prevent it and I failed and for that I feel terrible.” She said that the Chilcot report had showed up the “informality” of decision-making at the time. “We must never do this again,” she said.
For the families of the 179 soldiers and 23 civilians of the U.K. who died in the Iraq War, the Iraq Inquiry report has brought closure after a 13-year wait to one phase of their grief and loss.
The report released by Sir John Chilcot on Wednesday has come to the conclusion that the U.K. government under Tony Blair took the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 before exhausting peaceful options. It has also been critical of the lack of planning and preparation for the war, which exposed UK soldiers to avoidable risks and dangers.
Never again must so many mistakes be allowed to sacrifice British lives and lead to the destruction of a country for no positive end,” said Roger Bacon, whose 34-year-old son Major Matthew Bacon was killed in Iraq in 2005, at a televised press conference after the report was released.
An emotional Sarah O’Connor, whose brother was killed in Iraq blamed Tony Blair for his death. “There is one terrorist in this world that the world needs to be aware of, and his name is Tomy Blair, the world’s worst terrorist,” she said.
The families will now seek legal advice on whether they have a case for prosecuting those guilty of taking the decisions that let to the deaths of their loved ones.