Blair lied over Iraq, says Short
Clare Short yesterday accused Tony Blair of lying over the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and said she believed the attorney general at the time had misled the cabinet over its legality. Short, a long-time Blair critic who was then international development secretary, disputed evidence the former Prime Minster gave last week to the Chilcott inquiry into the war last week, saying he had sidelined the cabinet and kept ministers in the dark. Discussions were limited and there had been a “block on communications”, said Short who supported the invasion but resigned shortly afterwards.
Conservatives in Stern U-turn
The Tories were yesterday forced to clarify their relationship with climate change economist Lord Stern, after they said he had been appointed as a Conservative adviser. Shadow chancellor George Osborne said: “I am delighted that Lord Stern has agreed to advise us on the creation of [a] Green Investment Bank.” But the Tories later said he was advising their climate working group and not the party.
Poll: Tory lead at seven points
Another opinion poll yesterday showed the Tory lead over the Labour party narrowing. A ComRes poll for The Independent newspaper showed the Tory lead had fallen to just seven points, which would leave it 24 seats short of an overall parliamentary majority if repeated at the general election.
Brown defends huge deficit
Gordon Brown yesterday told the Commons Liaison Committee that the government was right to run a deficit during the economic crisis, and accused some committee members of “pessimism about the British economy”. He also confirmed his commitment to new aircraft carriers.