GORDON BROWN has U-turned on his support for the Iraq War and now claims it was unjustified.
The former Prime Minister, who was Chancellor when the decision to go to war in 2003 was made, admitted the UK was “misled” over Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
The ex-Labour leader said top-secret US intelligence casting serious doubt over the dictator’s destructive capabilities was not shared with Britain.
Mr Brown claimed only after leaving office did he become aware of “crucial” papers held by the US Department of Defense and because of this he has concluded the “invasion cannot now be seen as a proportionate response”.
In his memoir, published this week, he writes: “When I consider the rush to war in March 2003 – especially in light of what we now know about the absence of weapons of mass destruction – I ask myself over and over whether I could have made more of a difference before that fateful decision was taken.
“We now know from classified American documents that in the first days of September 2002 a report prepared by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff’s director for intelligence landed on the desk of the US defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.
“It is now clear how forcibly this report challenged the official view.
“If I am right that somewhere within the US system the truth about Iraq’s lack of weapons was known, then we were not just misinformed but misled on WMDs.”
Mr Blair’s motion to go to war was passed by parliament in March 2003 by 412 votes to 149.
Among the prominent MPs to vote against the government were the late Robin Cook, who resigned from the cabinet over his stance, and former First Minister Alex Salmond.
Mr Salmond said last night that Mr Brown’s comments were a “totally ridiculous alibi”.
He added: “It is to Gordon Brown’s eternal shame he did not possess the integrity of a Robin Cook in acting to prevent Blair misleading the country into a disastrous, illegal conflict.”