The privy council is a formal body in the UK to advise the Queen on policy matters. Its membership consists of former and current members of both Houses of Parliament (House of Commons and House of Lords). Former PM Tony Blair is a member of the privy council, but he may not be for long, thanks to the Chilcot report.
The Iraq Inquiry was set up in 2009 to look into the legitimacy of the UK’s participation in the Iraq war. The inquiry released its report recently. The report, also called the Chilcot report, after Sir John Chilcot, its chairman has indicted the former PM for his role in the disastrous invasion of Iraq.
Tory MP moves ‘contempt of Parliament’ motion against former PM
Now, a Tory MP David Davis has used the findings of the Chilcot report to move a contempt of parliament motion against the former PM, accusing him of lying to MPs about the conditions under which the UK participated in the Iraq war. The move has the support of Jeremy Corbyn and the Scottish National Party.
If the motion receives the approval of speaker John Bercow, it will be put to vote in the House of Commons. In the case of being passed, it could result in Tony Blair’s ejection from the Privy council.
The Chilcot report accuses the former PM of twisting facts relating to the Iraqis under Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction. It also criticized Tony Blair for his inept handling of the post war scenario in Iraq.
Tony Blair calls press conference to explain his position on the findings of the report
Tony Blair immediately called a press conference after the report was released, to express sorrow over the outcomes of the war. At the same time, he said that he had taken the decision (of invading Iraq) in good faith, taking into consideration the evidence that was available to him at that time.
Blair is accused of pulling the UK into a disastrous war in Iraq, based on falsified evidence of Saddam Hussein possessing WMDs (it was later discovered that he didn’t). Another charge on him is that he supported regime change in Iraq.
According to a Lancet Survey, the Iraq war resulted in the death of 179 British soldiers and more than 600,000 Iraqis . Millions of people are still displaced. The space vacated by the Saddam regime was captured by sectarian forces, aiding the rise of barbaric regimes like the ISIS.