Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Want Blair to Apologise; DAD OF MURDERED SOLDIER WATCHES IRAQ INQUIRY IN ANGER

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Want Blair to Apologise; DAD OF MURDERED SOLDIER WATCHES IRAQ INQUIRY IN ANGER

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB PATTINSON

STILL grieving, John Miller watched in anger as Tony Blair gave evidence at the Iraq inquiry.

Today he has demanded an apology from the former prime minister for the war which killed his son.

Corporal Simon Miller was brutally beaten and murdered in Iraq, on June 24, 2003, aged just 21.

Since then his death devastated parents John and Marilyn, of Muirfield Drive, Usworth, Washington, have called for answers.

They say non were given yesterday as Blair gave evidence at the Chilcot Inquiry. John, 58, now believes it is time Blair takes responsibility for the death of his son.

He said: "An apology would be a start at least.

"Blair said he thinks about the Iraq war every day, but he doesn't have to think about in the same way as me.

"I still think about my son every day and it destroys me. I wish there was something which would bring him back. I wish there was something to stop the pain our family feels being without him.

"The bottom line is there were still huge legal doubts over the war and we were not told about them. Why couldn't they have just been honest? "Then my son would have known why he was in Iraq. He would have known the truth before he died.

"We could have buried him knowing he had believed in something real and died for something real.

"I hated watching Blair there. He smiled too much and he never once made reference to those dead soldiers. He never once tried to apologise.

"It's about time he took some responsibility and gave all of the families a proper apology. At least that would be some sort of admission."

Yesterday Mr Blair defended the controversial Iraq dossier that intelligence established "beyond doubt" that Saddam had WMD.

The former Prime Minister said: "What I said in the foreword was that I believed it was beyond doubt.

"I did believe it and I did believe it was beyond doubt."

He accepted, however, it had been a mistake not to make clear the nownotorious claim that some WMD could be launched within 45 minutes referred to battlefield weapons and not long-range missiles.

"I would have been better to have corrected it in the light of the significance it later took on," he said. …

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