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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Iraq War: former prime minister Gordon Brown says UK 'misled' over WMDs

In a damning extract from his memoir, the former-Labour leader says "we were not just misinformed, but misled"

Britain's former Prime Minister Gordon Brown believes the UK was misled over whether Iraq had WMDs. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
Britain's former Prime Minister Gordon Brown believes the UK was misled over whether Iraq had WMDs. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

The UK was misled over Saddam Hussein's access to weapons of mass destruction, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said.

Mr Brown accused the Pentagon of failing to share devastating intelligence that undermined the case for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The former prime minister revealed the existence of a secret US report that raised serious doubts about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He has said it was withheld from the British government.

In a damning extract from his memoir, the former-Labour leader says "we were not just misinformed, but misled".

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Mr Brown says he became aware of the "crucial" paper after leaving office.

The UK joined the US-led invasion after both countries accused Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having links to terrorism.

"I was told they knew where the weapons were," Mr Brown writes.

"I remember thinking at the time that it was almost as if they could give me the street name and number where they were located."

But, Mr Brown,who was chancellor when America and Britain invaded Iraq, says a report commissioned at the time by the then-US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "forcibly challenged" this view.

"If I am right that somewhere within the American system the truth about Iraq's lack of weapons was known, then we were not just misinformed but misled on the critical issue," he writes in My Life, Our Times.

The Chilcot inquiry, which took seven years, looked at the UK's involvement in the Iraq War and found Hussein posed "no imminent threat" when the US and UK invaded.

It concluded that "flawed" intelligence started the war.

Former prime minister Tony Blair defends his decision to go to war.

Mr Brown did say some action was required due to the failure of Saddam Hussein complying with UN resolutions.