Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Pressure on Blair as Hewitt Declares 'All of Us Are Very Sorry' for WMD Blunders

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Pressure on Blair as Hewitt Declares 'All of Us Are Very Sorry' for WMD Blunders

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

CABINET minister Patricia Hewitt has become the first member of the Government to say "sorry" for the blunders over intelligence used to justify the Iraq war.

The Trade and Industry Secretary said she was speaking on behalf of Tony Blair and the whole Cabinet for the inaccuracies about Saddam's alleged arsenal.

Mr Blair angered antiwar activists last week when he said that he "can apologise" for the errors in the Government's case, but stopped short of using the word "sorry". The Iraq Survey Group confirmed this week that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction at the time of last year's war, though it said Saddam retained ambitions to obtain them.

Mr Blair faces calls to appear before the Commons on Monday to make a statement on the report and his opponents are bound to use Ms Hewitt's remarks to insist on a similar direct apology.

Appearing on BBC1's Question Time last night, Ms Hewitt was shouted down by members of the audience when she said Mr Blair had actually apologised for the inaccuracy of the intelligence. …

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