[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 13:41 GMT
Key points: Blair grilled
Here are the major points from Tony Blair's grilling before the House of Commons liaison committee.


  • No regrets on going to war on the basis of weapons of mass destruction. "There's no question whatever that the war was justified."

  • A fresh inquiry into the intelligence received ahead of the Iraq war will be launched, with a statement on Tuesday by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw outlining the details.

  • It follows claims by former senior US weapons inspector David Kay that there were no stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

  • "Whatever is discovered as a result of that inquiry, I do not accept that it was wrong to remove Saddam Hussein."

  • Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are in Iraq.

  • The Liberal Democrats would like the inquiry to look into the political judgment that led the UK to war.

  • "You can't have an inquiry into whether the war was right or wrong."


  • Intelligence services "do a fantastic job", were "good people" and "dedicated public servants". Intelligence was "not some absolute science".

  • The government never interfered with the intelligence judgements of the intelligence community.

  • If large stockpiles of weapons are not found in Iraq, it means "the intelligence was wrong", but the rest of it was right.

  • The US decision to launch an independent inquiry into intelligence had not taken the UK government by surprise.

  • It would have been a "dereliction of duty" not to have acted on intelligence received.


  • The policy could have been handled differently within the Labour Party.

  • There had been "detailed discussions" with many universities and they did not want a uniform fee.

  • The choice was between raising cash through the taxpayer or by graduate repayment, or via a flat rate or variable fee.


  • It would have been better to have separated the Cabinet reshuffle in 2003 from proposals to abolish the role of Lord Chancellor.

  • It was a "serious inhibition" on the job to have the same person working as secretary of state in charge of the courts and having to spend many hours carrying out formal duties in the House of Lords.


  • "I never understood, frankly, what the fuss was about foundation hospitals."

  • The policy had come from hospitals, not Downing Street, after they said they wanted to be freed up from bureaucracy.


  • "There is a worry" about the level of protection in this country against terrorism.

  • The civil liberties argument continues up until something happens - then people ask why something was not done before.

    The BBC's Polly Billington
    "Today Tony Blair confirmed there would be an investigation"

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


    News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
    UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
    Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific