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Key moments: Gordon Brown at the Iraq war inquiry

Gordon Brown has made his appearance before the UK's inquiry into the Iraq war. Here are his answers to the key questions.


Gordon Brown: Military action in Iraq was "the right decision... for the right reasons"

At the beginning of the session, inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot asked Mr Brown if he thought the decision to take military action in Iraq was right.

"I think that this is the gravest decision of all, to make a decision to go to war.

"I believe we made the right decision for the right reasons, because the international community had for years asked Saddam Hussein to abide by international law and the international obligations that he'd accepted.

"Fourteen resolutions were passed by the United Nations and, at the end of the day, it was impossible to persuade him that he should abide by international law.

"Now, my feeling is, and still is, that we cannot have an international community that works if we have either terrorists, who are breaking these rules or, in this case, aggressor states that refuse to obey the laws of the international community."


Gordon Brown: "There was no sense that there was a financial restraint that prevented us doing what was best for the military"

Mr Brown said that when military engagement in Iraq was discussed he told the prime minister that financial restraint should not prevent the government doing what was best for the military.

"I think Mr Hoon wrote to me in June. I think the Treasury did a paper in June about these very issues. I was then advised to talk to Mr Blair, I told him I would not try to rule out any military option on the grounds of cost; quite the opposite.

"He should feel free, because this was the right course of action, to discuss the military option that was best for our country and the one that would yield the best results.

"We understood that some options were more expensive than others but we should accept the option that was right for our country."


Gordon Brown says the Attorney General gave an "unequivocal answer" on the legality of war

Mr Brown was asked about the advice presented to the Cabinet by the Attorney General.

"Did the Attorney-General, who is our legal officer, have a position on this that was unequivocal? His position was unequivocal."

"He cited as I have already done, the United Nations resolutions that led us to believe that Saddam Hussein would fail to comply with international law. He cited 1441 and the importance of the final opportunity for Saddam Hussein.

"All these things were said and it laid the basis on which we could make a decision, but it wasn't the reason we made the decision. He gave us the necessary means to make a decision, but it wasn't sufficient in itself."


Gordon Brown: "Every request that the military commanders made to us for equipment was answered"

"I do understand the concerns of every relative, where there has been a death in conflict.

"It is right that we give the fullest explanation possible, and my sympathies go out to people who have questions that they wish answered, and I will do everything in my power to answer the questions that people have."

"I think if you look at the question of expenditure in Iraq, you have to start from this one fundamental truth. That every request that the military commanders made to us for equipment was answered. No request was ever turned down."


In his concluding remarks Mr Brown reflected on what could be learned from the Iraq war.

"I hope that one of the lessons that we learn from this is that we have the most professional and the best armed forces in the world.

"I also want to recognise that these were difficult decisions. These were decisions that required judgment. These were decisions that required strong leadership.

"These were decisions that were debated and divided a lot of opinion in the country. I believe they were the right decisions. I believe we made the right decisions for the right reasons. But I also believe it is our duty to learn lessons from what has happened."

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