Iraq war critic faces UK panel

Clare Short, who quit cabinet post in protest, has accused Blair of "lying" to the country.

    Short has continued to be a critic of Tony Blair's decision to go to war [GALLO/GETTY]

    The five-person panel is headed by John Chilcot, a former senior civil servant, and has been accused several times of being too soft on witnesses.

    The Iraq inquiry was set up last year by Gordon Brown, who took over from Blair as the UK prime minister, to identify mistakes made, but it is not a trial.

    Critical of Blair

    In an article written in November 2009 and published on her website, Short wrote that "Blair lied to his cabinet, party and parliament in order to get us to war", but she has also been critical of the inquiry itself.

    "The members of the inquiry team are all establishment insiders. Some are bright and likeable people but they have all spent a lifetime, not making waves. It is unlikely that they will start now," she wrote.

    Short was among a number of Labour party members who opposed Blair's decision in 2003 to send 45,000 British troops to join the US-led invasion.

    She resigned from her position two months after the invasion of Iraq and left the Labour party entirely in 2006.

    She is now an independent member of parliament.

    Short, who was the UK's international development secretary at the time of the invasion, is likely to be questioned on how her department was left out of the planning stages of the invasion.

    A draft review of Iraq policy that was circulated among officials in 2001 was not forwarded to the international development department, which Short headed, prompting her to complain that it was being excluded.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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