World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UK PM Blair Responds to Butler Report

UK PM Blair Responds to Butler Report

Prime Minister Tony Blair has given his response to the Butler Review in the House of Commons.

  • Click here for Blair’s full statement
  • Download the Butler Report on the Directgov website
  • The Committee, under Lord Butler, was set up by the Prime Minister in February to conduct a review of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction.

    The Prime Minister said that the report supports the conclusions from Lord Hutton's inquiry about the good faith of the intelligence services and the government in compiling the September 2002 dossier.

    "But it also makes specific findings that the dossier and the intelligence behind it should have been better presented, had more caveats attached to it, and been better validated," said Mr Blair.

    While the report finds little - if any - significant evidence of stockpiles of readily deployable weapons, the Prime Minister said, it does conclude that Saddam Hussein did intend to resume the pursuit of banned weapons programmes - including nuclear weapons.

    The Prime Minister said that this report is the fourth inquiry into the issue of good faith and integrity and "like the Hutton inquiry, like the report of the ISC before it and of the FAC before that, has found the same thing".

    "No-one lied. No-one made up the intelligence. No-one inserted things into the dossier against the advice of the intelligence services.

    "Everyone genuinely tried to do their best in good faith for the country in circumstances of acute difficulty. That issue of good faith should now be at an end."

    Mr Blair also said that while it seems increasingly clear that Saddam did not have chemical or biological weapons ready to deploy, it does not mean that the threat was misconceived and the war unjustified.

    "Iraq, the region, the wider world is a better and safer place without Saddam," he said.

    Any mistakes should not be laid at the door of the intelligence and security community, said Mr Blair.

    "I accept full personal responsibility for the way the issue was presented and therefore for any errors made. As the Report indicates, there is no doubt that at the time it was genuinely believed by everyone that Saddam had both strategic intent in respect of WMD and actual weapons."

    The Prime Minister concluded:

    "I am proud of this country and the part it played and especially our magnificent armed forces, in removing two vile dictatorships and giving people oppressed, almost enslaved, the prospect of democracy and liberty.

    "This Report will not end the arguments about the war. But in its balance and common sense, it should at least help to set them in a more rational light; and for that we should be grateful."

    © Scoop Media

    World Headlines


    Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

    At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


    Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

    Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


    Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

    Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


    Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

    The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


    • Pacific.Scoop
    • Cafe Pacific
    • PMC