New book claims Straw confronted Blair before Iraq War
Leader of the House of Commons Peter Hain said that British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had never expressed any doubts about the wisdom of the Government's policy on Iraq in Cabinet meetings before the war.
Hain told Sky News Sunday "When the Cabinet meetings were held, there was very strong support for the Prime Minister's position, including from the Foreign Secretary, so I don't really know where these stories came from".
Hain was commenting on claims which emerged Sunday - in a new book by political editor for the New Statesman magazine, John Kampfner, entitled "Blair's War" - that Straw sent a plea memo to Blair not to go to war in Iraq. According to this claim, Straw asked Blair to tell US President George Bush that Britain would offer troops for peacekeeping and for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Kampfner claimed Straw confronted the Prime Minister on his return from the eve-of-war summit with Bush in the Azores on March 16.
Hain stated "I cannot comment on alleged private conversations or letters". "What I can say is in Cabinet, when we took the decision to back the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and everybody else...was united behind the Prime Minister", he added.
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