Tony Blair should stand trial on charges of war crimes if the evidence suggests he broke international law over the “illegal” Iraq war in 2003, the Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn has said.
Corbyn called on the former prime minister to “confess” the understandings he reached with George W Bush in the run up to the invasion.
Asked on BBC Newsnight whether Blair should stand trial on war crimes charges, Corbyn said: “If he has committed a war crime, yes. Everybody who has committed a war crime should be.”
The veteran MP for Islington North was a high-profile opponent of the war and became a leading member of the Stop the War coalition. He said: “It was an illegal war. I am confident about that. Indeed Kofi Annan [UN secretary general at the time of the war] confirmed it was an illegal war and therefore [Tony Blair] has to explain to that. Is he going to be tried for it? I don’t know. Could he be tried for it? Possibly.”
Corbyn said he expects the eventual publication of the Chilcot report will force Blair to explain his discussions with President Bush in the runup to the war.
He said: “The Chilcot report is going to come out sometime. I hope it comes out soon. I think there are some decisions Tony Blair has got to confess or tell us what actually happened. What happened in Crawford, Texas, in 2002 in his private meetings with George [W] Bush. Why has the Chilcot report still not come out because – apparently there is still debate about the release of information on one side or the other of the Atlantic. At that point Tony Blair and the others that have made the decisions are then going to have to deal with the consequences of it.”
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