Jeremy Corbyn promises Labour apology for Iraq war if elected leader

Corbyn says war was a “deception”, and criticises delay to Chilcot inquiry

Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn has promised a formal apology on behalf of the Labour party for the war in Iraq if elected leader.

Corbyn was among 121 Labour MPs who defied a three line whip and opposed the government’s decision in 2003 to invade Iraq.

Speaking to the Guardian, Corbyn said that Labour would “never again flout the United Nations and international law”.

The move would be a significant break with previous Labour party administrations.

The prime minister at the time, Tony Blair, has repeatedly denied that the war was an error, and voted against an inquiry into the legality of the war.  

Most senior Labour members backed military intervention in Iraq including all three of Corbyn’s Labour leadership opponents, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper, who also all voted against the subsequent inquiry.

Corbyn also hit out at the delay to the Chilcot inquiry, which he said was “wrong”, but said there was no need to wait for the publication of the findings “to know that mistakes were made”.

“Let us say we will never again unnecessarily put our troops under fire and our country’s standing in the world at risk.”

He added: “It is past time that Labour apologised to the British people for taking them into the Iraq War on the basis of deception, and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause.”

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