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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 August 2005, 00:33 GMT 01:33 UK
In quotes: Robin Cook
Robin Cook
Robin Cook refused to stay quiet on the backbenches
Here are some of the key quotes from Robin Cook over his political career:

As a contribution to George Bush's war on terrorism, Iraq has been a spectacular own goal.
August 2005

We should not accept the implicit assumption of Bush's muscular foreign policy that freedom can be delivered from 38,000ft through the bomb doors.
January 2005

I find it difficult to reconcile what I knew, and what I am sure the PM knew, with what he said.
On Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction

Otis Ferry is not Osama bin Laden.
Calling for a sense of proportion in response to the pro-hunting protests

I've never met one that wants to talk politics.
On his love of racehorses

It is revealing that Britain now has a prime minister who uses "liberal" as a term of abuse, in the way that a North American politician would.
July 2004

The tricky thing about a quagmire is you never know you have walked into one until it is too late.
On Iraq, 2004

Tony Blair is a man of immense, attractive charm, which he maintains by shrinking from disagreeable exchanges.
2004

I can just about forgive him Iraq. But dropping a Scottie on his head, that's really stupid.
Berating George Bush for dropping his dog, November 2003

Tony Blair doesn't deserve to go down in history as the prime minister who took Britain into Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence.
June 2003

I'm a Commons man.
Making himself available to lead the non-Blairite left in the Commons, March 2003

What has come to trouble me is the suspicion that if the 'hanging chads' of Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops to action in Iraq.
After resigning, March 2003

I think that I owe her a lot in that she has an emotional intelligence to her. I have always prided myself on doing the hard work and the background and the briefs, but I think she has also taught me that one needs to understand and respond to other people's feelings, which possibly I was not as good at before.
On what his second wife Gaynor taught him, April 2002

Chicken tikka masala is now Britain's true national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences.
December 2001

The tragic paradox of the last century was that those who murdered one person were more likely to be brought to justice than those who plotted the genocide of millions.
April 2001

Nothing has given me greater satisfaction in my time in office than the removal of Milosevic from office and the removal of his poisonous policies of ethnic hatred from Europe.
April 2001

I opposed apartheid in South Africa, so I cannot accept apartheid through ethnic cleansing in Europe.
March 1999

Nobody in this government need be defensive over arms sales.
August 1999

Britain will once again be a force for good in the world. Our foreign policy must have an ethical dimension ... Ethics will be at the heart of our policy ... The Labour government will put human rights at the heart of our foreign policy.
Press conference on becoming foreign secretary, May 1997

Suddenly we have a row of limpets stuck to the Tory front bench.
Taunting Conservative MPs for failing to stand up to back John Major, 1996

This is not just a government that does not know how to accept blame - this is a government that knows no shame.
Response to the Scott Report on arms-to-Iraq, February 1996




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