Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fresh Storm on Iraq War Intelligence; EX-DEFENCE CHIEF ACCUSES PM OVER SADDAM THREAT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fresh Storm on Iraq War Intelligence; EX-DEFENCE CHIEF ACCUSES PM OVER SADDAM THREAT

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

TONY BLAIR today faced fresh claims he misled the nation over Iraq when a former senior defence chief accused him of "misusing" intelligence.

John Morrison, the former Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, said the Prime Minister's claim that Saddam represented a threat was not backed up by evidence within the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Morrison said that no threat existed "in the true meaning of the word" and that such a view was supported by intelligence reports before the war. In a scathing interview for BBC Radio 4's Today programmehe also claimed that well before 2002, New Labour's love of news management led to systematic pressure on intelligence experts to make their findings fit political ends.

The former MoD chief spoke out for the first time since he was ousted from a Cabinet Office job for appearing on the BBC's Panorama programme to criticise Mr Blair earlier this year. Mr Morrison said at the time the intelligence services were stunned when Mr Blair warned of Saddam's "serious and current threat" to Britain in his foreword to the Downing Street dossier of September "When I heard him using those words I could almost hear the collective raspberry going up around Whitehall," he said. …

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