Iraq inquiry: Foreign Office official argued against publishing Tony Blair's WMD dossier





A former Foreign Office official has told the Iraq inquiry how he warned against the publication by Tony Blair's government of the controversial dossier on Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction.

John Williams, who was director of communications at the Foreign Office at the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, said he had ''argued strongly'' against publication with then prime minister's communications chief, Alastair Campbell.

In a written statement to Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry, released today, Mr Williams said he thought he had won the argument, only for Mr Blair to announce in September 2002 that the government was going ahead with the dossier.

''The burden of my argument was not about the quality of specific intelligence, which I never dreamed of judging, but my strong sense that we should not take on ourselves the burden of proof, when all the UN resolutions put the burden on Saddam Hussein to show he had destroyed his weapons,'' he said.

''We couldn't prove it if the inspectors couldn't.''...


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