Inquiry sheds new light on Tony Blair and Iraq

NEW evidence given to a British inquiry into the country's involvement in the Iraq war has revealed former prime minister Tony Blair was told Iraq had, at most, only a trivial amount of weapons of mass destruction and that Libya was a far greater threat.

The Independent reported on Sunday that intelligence officers disclosed how the day before Mr Blair went to visit president George Bush in April 2002, he appeared to accept this but returned a "changed man".

Mr Blair subsequently ordered the production of dossiers to "find the intelligence" he wanted to use to justify going to war.

This and other secret evidence to the inquiry will, according to the British newspaper, be used as the basis for severe criticism of the former prime minister when the final report is published.

Mr Blair is said to have realised and understood Libya was the real threat and that he knew "it would not be sensible to lead the argument on Saddam and the WMD issue" according to evidence of a conversation on April 4 2002, the day before he flew to the US to spend a weekend with Mr Bush.

The inquiry was to investigate the United Kingdom's role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.