Nicola Boden and Sophie Freeman
Friday, January 29, 2010
Tony Blair was heckled today as he refused to express any regret for the Iraq war and insisted Britain would ultimately be able to look back on the conflict with ‘immense pride’.
There were cries of consternation from witnesses watching the official inquiry into the conflict as the former prime minister rejected the chance to note his sorrow at the loss of British lives.
Chairman Sir John Chilcot had to tell audience members to be quiet during Mr Blair’s closing comments, in which he insisted he stood by his actions in the run-up to the 2003 war, despite the 179 British troops killed in the conflict.
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‘It was divisive and I’m sorry about that,’ he conceded but continued: ‘If I’m asked whether I believe we’re safer, more secure with Saddam and his sons out of power, I believe that we are.’
Asked if he had any regrets at all, he replied: ‘Responsibility but not a regret,’ prompting the audience to erupt and cry: ‘What, no regrets? Come on’.
When the cameras cut off and Mr Blair readied to leave, he was booed and one audience member shouted ‘you’re a liar’ before another chimed in ‘and a murderer’.
Hundreds of protesters, furious that he sneaked into the building through a back entrance early this morning, surrounded the building to give the former premier an angry reception as he left.
This article was posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm