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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 12:20 GMT
Adviser admits resigning over war
Tony Blair meets British troops in Basra earlier this year
Adviser said she did not believe the use of force on Iraq was lawful
A former Foreign Office adviser has come forward to admit she quit her job because she did not agree with the legality of the war on Iraq.

Elizabeth Wilmhurst made a statement disclosing her name in the wake of recent press inquiries.

She said she had not wanted to continue as deputy legal adviser at the Foreign Office because she "did not agree the use of force against Iraq was lawful".

She now works at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Legal issues

In a statement, she said: "I left my job as a deputy legal adviser in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office because I did not agree that the use of force against Iraq was lawful, and in all the circumstances, I did not want to continue as a legal adviser."

Ms Wilmhurst, who resigned last March after 29 years at the Foreign Office, made herself known after reports appeared in the British press.

She is now head of the international law programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

The programme was launched in February 2004 to provide a forum for lawyers and policy-makers to discuss international legal issues and their practical application to current problems in international relations.

Ms Wilmhurst is also a visiting professor at University College, London.

The Conservatives said that Ms Wilmhurst's decision to quit over the Iraq conflict "raises more questions and creates more confusion".

"It is time that both the prime minister and the foreign secretary got a grip on a situation which is damaging to the national interest and fast running out of control," said Shadow Foreign Secretary, Michael Ancram.

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