Blair comeback beset by Iraq questions

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Blair struggled to hide his annoyance during an exchange on Iraq
Blair struggled to hide his annoyance during an exchange on Iraq

Tony Blair failed to hide his frustration today after his comeback to the British political scene was again met by questions over the Iraq war.

The former prime minster cut an irritated figure on the Andrew Marr programme when he was stopped from discussing the eurocrisis and asked whether he had preventing Cabinet from hearing the attorney general's legal evidence against the Iraq war.

"It's not true and what's more we went through this at the Chilcot inquiry," he said.

"I'll never win this argument with them over Iraq.


"I understand why people still have this disagreement over Iraq and I don't believe we'll ever resolve it, but we should at least have a balanced view on it."

He added: "The notion Cabinet never discussed this is absurd. We've been over this so many times. There was no conspiracy."

With Egyptians waiting for the result of the presidential elections this afternoon, Mr Blair warned the Arab Spring could throw up some problematic religious figures just as easily as secular reformists.

"Revolution will throw up these very dangerous and toxic forces," he said.

"Long term this is good. People want freedom. Bad news: they're going to have trouble getting to an open democracy which is pluralistic."

Elsewhere in the interview, the former prime minister expressed support for his successor, stressing that Labour managed not to implode following the 2010 general election.

"Those people who feared Labour would go the way of 1979 - we didn't," he said.

"We're going to be in contention. I've always thought Ed [Miliband] was a smart guy. I was just a David supporter because I've worked well with David."

Mr Blair, who was once touted as a possible EU foreign secretary, made no bones about his desire to return to frontline politics.

"I've always said, I'm a public service person first," he said.

"I would've been happy carrying on as prime minister".

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