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Breakfast with Frost
John Major, former prime minister
John Major, former prime minister
On Sunday 23rd February Sir David talked to former Prime Minister John Major, and John Bercow MP.

He also interviewed the singer George Michael and Lord Robertson, Nato secretary general, on Iraq.

The programme also included an interview with the Russian Ambassador in London, Grigory Karasin.

The newspapers were reviewed by the French journalist, Benedicte Paviot.

Tell us what you think about the programme by using the form at the bottom of the page.

The former Prime Minister, John Major told Sir David Frost he feared Saddam Hussein could try to unleash "Armageddon" if he is attacked by Britain and America. Mr Major - who was Prime Minister during the first Gulf War in 1991 - said Saddam may try to drag the whole Middle East region into any conflict.

"This time of course, he is threatened, he is at bay, he knows that at the end of this war he is likely to be dead, or fled or on trial," Mr Major told Sir David. "It is a possibility that on this occasion he may use all his arsenal and he has many targets that he could use them on. I think it is quite likely that he will try to create Armageddon."

He went on: "They might well to create economic chaos set alight the oil wells in Iraq. They may well also use weapons to set alight the oilfields in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. Or they could, of course, use their weapons and their warheads to strike either at Saudi Arabia or at Israel, possibly with chemical weapons. The purpose of that would be to try to draw Israel into the war in the hope that it would create a wider Arab coalition, muddy the water and create the maximum amount of chaos."

Mr Major said that he broadly supported the American and British stance on Iraq, but he warned that the problems of "winning the peace" - if Saddam is overthrown - would be complex and would require a long-term commitment.

Sir David also asked Mr Major about the current controversy over Iain Duncan Smith's leadership of the Conservative Party. "I am wise enough to know that everybody who begins to talk and add fuel to this particular bonfire does not good to the Conservative Party," Mr Major said. "At this moment I think people are absolutely losing patience with the squablles there are. I think I wish to concentrate on bigger events like Iraq and I am certainly not going to add to the bonfire that has been lit over the last week."

Click on the highlighted links to read the full transcripts.

But another guest, Tory MP John Bercow - who resigned from Mr Duncan Smith's shadow cabinet last year - was more outspoken. He criticised the sources close to the leader who were quoted in the Sunday papers, describing Michael Portillo as "insane" and a "cancer" in the party - for criticising Mr Duncan Smith.

"This does seem to me to be extraordinary language to use against anyone in the Conservative Party," Mr Bercow told Sir David. "To deploy it against a senior member of the Conservative Party who has given more than 25 years of his adult life to its service and to the service of the country is both inappropriate and unacceptable."

Mr Bercow went on to say that at a time when Mr Duncan Smith was facing continuing difficulties, "it would be a good idea to be thoughtful, to be reflective, to be conciliatory."

On the question of a possible leadership challenge, Mr Bercow said: "I think it could happen sooner rather than later. There is clearly grave disquiet."

Sir David was also joined this week by the singer George Michael - who talked about his decision to re-write one of his most popular hits, "Faith", to reflect his concern about the current international situation. He was particularly critical of the British government's support for President George W Bush.

"I am a believer, or I was, and still am hopefully a believer in Tony Blair," George said. "I met him before the election and I found him to be a very charming, decent man - that was my feeling about him. But right now I am just absolutely puzzled - if he's playing a game in order to keep the pressure on Saddam until the last minute and he really has no intention of following through, then I still believe in him. But that's looking exceptionally unlikely now."

Sir David also interviewed the Secretary General of Nato, Lord Robertson - who admitted that the reputation of the organisation had been damaged by the recent dispute over defence arrangements for Turkey, in the event of war. But Lord Robertson said he believed the damage would not be lasting.


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