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Former Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking at an event in 2012. (Photo: Chatham House/flickr/cc)

Anti-Austerity Candidate Corbyn: Tony Blair Could Face War Crimes

MP Jeremy Corbyn says Iraq war illegal, Blair must divulge details of 2002 meetings with George W. Bush

Andrea Germanos

Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing MP who's leading the polls, said that former Prime Minister Tony Blair could possibly face war crimes for his involvement in the Iraq war.

The long-time MP, whom the Guardian's Ewen MacAskill characterized as "the anti-austerity candidate, in tune with similar movements in Greece and elsewhere in Europe," made the comments Tuesday In an interview with BBC2's Newsnight.

"I think there are some decisions that Tony Blair has got to confess or tell us what actually happened in Crawford, Texas in 2002 in his private meetings with George Bush," Corbyn told interviewer Emily Maitlis.

He said that the still unreleased Chilcot Inquiry, an official investigation into Britain's role in the Iraq war, is going to come out, and "Tony Blair and the others that have made the decisions are then going to have to deal with the consequences of it."

Asked by Maitlis, "So should [Blair] be tried for war crimes?" Corbyn said, "If he's committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who's committed a war crime should."

"I think it was illegal war," he continued. "I'm confident about that. Indeed, [then-UN Secretary General] Kofi Annan confirmed it was an illegal war, and therefore he has to explain to that. Is he going to be tried for it? I don't know. Could he be tried for it? Possibly."

Pressed if he would like to see Blair tried, he said, "I want to see all those that committed war crimes tried for it [and] those that made the decisions that went with it."

As Common Dreams reported last month,

Veteran UK politician Jeremy Corbyn, a 66-year-old left-winger whose stances against austerity, nuclear weapons, and war have been described as "uncompromising," is gathering steam ahead of upcoming Labour party leadership elections, according to new polling released this week.

A YouGov poll for the London Times suggests that in the final round of voting, the socialist Islington North MP would finish six points ahead of previous frontrunner Andy Burnham. The poll shows Corbyn as the first preference for 43 percent of party supporters.

Corbyn's campaign, unlike those of his rivals, has been reliant on small donations.


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