Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Sunday, 31 January 2010

Clare Short MP transcript

On Sunday 31 January Sophie Raworth interviewed former Cabinet Minister Clare Short MP.

Please note 'The Andrew Marr Show' must be credited if any part of this transcript is used.

SOPHIE RAWORTH

What did (Gordon Brown) think at the time [about Iraq]?

CLARE SHORT

Well in most of the run up to the war, Gordon and Tony were in one of their fallen out phases, and Gordon was marginalised and not included and not in the inner group. And he was saying to me "They think they're going to have a quick successful war, and then they'll be very powerful, and they'll have a reshuffle.

SOPHIE RAWORTH

And did he think he'd be shuffled out?

CLARE SHORT

He thought they wanted him out of the Treasury because there was tension about how you spend the money of the Government, and they were going to offer him the Foreign Office. And he was saying "I won't accept it, I'll join you on the backbenches". And then, do you remember when Blair became totally grey, just after he failed to get the 2nd resolution, and his face was haunted and thin? Do you remember? Prescott got Brown back together with Blair and Brown came behind Blair, and it was sort of 'Blame the French, and actually misleading people about what Chirac's position was. So at that point he came in behind Blair. But for most of the time he was marginalised.

SOPHIE RAWORTH

So he had serious concerns about what his personal position would be if the war went ahead, and it was a quick and successful war?

CLARE SHORT

Well he twice said to me that that was the plan. So that's pretty dreadful - if they think, sort of, was it a comparison with Mrs Thatcher and the Falklands? 'Have a war, make yourself heroic, become very popular, more powerful'

SOPHIE RAWORTH

And did Gordon Brown speak out against the war in the cabinet?

CLARE SHORT

No, he didn't speak at all about it, until he came back in with the 'blame the French' strategy. No, he was just marginalised.

SOPHIE RAWORTH

Did he explicitly, privately, tell you that it was wrong?

CLARE SHORT

No, he would invite me in for coffee in number 11 (you just walk through from number 10). And I'd be chuntering on about Iraq, and he'd be chuntering on about other things, and we'd both have a little moan, but he didn't oppose the war. He didn't support it - but he was pre-occupied with other things.

INTERVIEW ENDS.



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