Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted Monday it had been a “mistake” to fail to prepare adequately for rebuilding Iraq following the 2003 removal of Saddam Hussein.
But speaking days before his predecessor Tony Blair testifies to Britain’s Iraq war inquiry, Brown — who will face the probe himself within weeks — insisted that the war was justified by a previous UN resolution.
“I think the mistake in the war was not to do the reconstruction and plan it in the way that was necessary so that Iraq could recover quickly after Saddam Hussein fell,” Brown said at his monthly press conference.
Challenged about the legality of the 2003 US-led invasion, Brown said he would address such issues when he appears before the public inquiry into the war.
But he added: “As far as the war is concerned, I have always said that the UN resolution that said to Saddam Hussein for over 10 years that he had to take action to deal with the threat he was posing to other countries was a very decisive part of the reasons why we had to take the actions we did.”
He is due to give evidence over the next few weeks, after Blair, who was prime minister at the time of the conflict, gives his eagerly awaited version of events on Friday.
Brown added: “I stand by all the actions I have taken and I welcome the chance to explain not only the circumstances in which our government made the decisions it did, but also the circumstances in which we brought our troops home from Iraq.”
He had initially been expected to give evidence after the general election, which is expected to take place by June, but his offer to appear earlier was accepted.
Jim Cramer: Coronavirus pandemic triggered ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history’
CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday that that coronavirus pandemic has triggered "one of the greatest wealth transfers in history."
The remark from the network's "Mad Money" host came amid "ominous" economic data but a rebounding stock market.
"How can the market rebound without the economy? Because the market doesn't represent the economy; it represents the future of big business," said Cramer. "The bigger the business, the more it moves the major averages."
Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum worldwide with fresh weekend of protests
From Sydney to London, Paris to Washington, D.C., protesters have launched a global weekend of action to support Black Lives Matter, in many cases defying bans on public gatherings.
Taking a knee, chanting and ignoring social-distancing measures, outraged protesters kicked off a weekend of global rallies Saturday against racism and police brutality.
The death during the arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the US state of Minnesota, has brought tens of thousands out onto the streets during a pandemic that is ebbing in Asia and Europe, but spreading in other parts of the world.
Philly police threaten to call in sick during protests after officer charged with assault: report
Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna has been charged with assault after a video circulated of him beating Evan Gorski, a Temple University student, during a protest. But according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, his fellow officers on the force are outraged — and may stage a "sickout" in protest.
"John McNesby, head of the city’s police union, came to Bologna’s defense, calling him one of the city’s 'most decorated and respected police leaders' who had to make a split-second call in a chaotic situation," reported William Bender and Jeremy Roebuck. "By Friday evening, talk was circulating about a 'blue flu,' or organized move by officers to call in sick in solidarity with Bologna, as another round of demonstrations, with crowds anticipated in the thousands, was set to take place Saturday in central Philadelphia."