Blair slams BBC for “attack on integrity” over Iraq report
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a Sunday newspaper interview, accused the BBC of having committed "an attack on my integrity" by reporting that he and his staff embellished a report on the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to war.
Speaking to the Observer on the eve of a House of Commons foreign affairs committee report on the way the government took Britain to war, Blair held back from demanding an apology from the public broadcaster.
However, he said, "If people make a claim and it turns out to be wrong, they should accept it is wrong."
"Look, as far as I am concerned, the issue of what the BBC has done, I take it as about as serious an attack on my integrity as there could possibly be. The charge is untrue and I hope that they will accept that," he said.
"I think they should accept it. That is all I am going to say."
In May, BBC radio reported that a September dossier on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction was "sexed up" despite reservations among intelligence chiefs.
Furthermore, Blair said, "The idea that that I, or anyone else in my position, frankly would start altering intelligence evidence - or saying to the intelligence services I am going to insert this - is absurd."
"You could not make a more serious charge against a Prime Minister - that I ordered our troops into conflict on the basis of intelligence evidence that I falsified," he said.
"The charge happens to be wrong. I think everyone now accepts that that charge is wrong." (Albawaba.com)