Published:

23 comments

Significant moves today from the two Eds in the Labour leadership race to distance themselves from the most unpopular legacy of the Blair years; the Iraq war:

Ed Balls: "We shouldn't have changed our argument from international law to regime change in a non-transparent way. It was an error for which we as a country paid a heavy price, and for which many people paid with their lives. Saddam Hussein was a horrible man, and I am pleased he is no longer running Iraq. But the war was wrong."

Ed Miliband is less direct than the former Schools Secretary but these are his words to The Guardian: "As we all know, the basis for going to war was on the basis of Saddam's threat in terms of weapons of mass destruction and therefore that is why I felt the weapons inspectors should have been given more time to find out whether he had those weapons, and Hans Blix – the head of the UN weapons inspectorate – was saying that he wanted to be given more time. The basis for going to war was the threat that he posed. The combination of not giving the weapons inspectors more time, and then the weapons not being found, I think for a lot of people it led to a catastrophic loss of trust for us, and we do need to draw a line under it… History will judge the outcomes for Iraq and that is important, but I think it is just clear to me because we went to war on a particular basis and when that basis turned out not to be correct even apart from the people that were against the war in the first place, that caused a big loss of trust for us: what I am not saying is that the war was undertaken for the wrong motives but what I am very clear about is what my position was at the time and the way I look at it in retrospect."

Tim Montgomerie

23 comments for: Ed Balls and Ed Miliband disown the Iraq war

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.