Lord West said: ‘I think there had been a decision that we were going to invade Iraq, that that was going to happen, but they were looking for a reason to actually do it.’
It is not known when Admiral West, who served as a security minister in Gordon Brown’s government and is now a Labour peer, was asked to prepare his forces.
He told The House magazine: ‘Of course Blair and everyone else will say, ‘No, we didn’t make the decision until right up to it’. You can always say that, can’t you?
‘But I would not have told the fleets, the Royal Navy and the Marines, to be ready for war in the northern Gulf by the end of the year.
‘I would not have sailed the Mine Counter-measures Force for the Middle East so they were in place for operations.
‘You don’t wake up in the morning and think that. Some b****** told me to do it. That’s why I did it.
‘All the people involved say, ‘We hadn’t made our decision right up until the UN resolution’, and all these other things.
‘Well, you can argue that you never make the final decision till you make your decision.
‘But, actually, they’d bloody decided. That’s the reality.’
He added the findings of Sir John Chilcot’s report would be seized on by activists in the Momentum movement that is loyal to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir John is due to publish his long-awaited report on the Iraq War on Wednesday. Admiral West said: ‘If they find that people did certain things that were wrong, they should be exposed.
Our IP Address: