Aide to ex-British PM denies `sexing up` Iraq dossier
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 23:30
London: Tony Blair's former chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell fiercely denied on Tuesday "sexing up" a dossier which claimed Iraq could launch chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes ahead of the 2003 war.

In a defiant appearance before a public inquiry on the conflict, Campbell admitted that while the highly controversial document could have been clearer, he still defended "every single word" of it.

Campbell, one of the former prime minister's closest allies, also insisted Blair was determined to deal with Saddam Hussein's regime peacefully right up to a crucial vote on the Iraq war in the House of Commons on March 18, 2003.

He said that he had never tried to "beef up" any of the judgements made by the September 2002 dossier's author, John Scarlett, the then chairman of a key intelligence committee which advised Blair's government.

Campbell also denied being involved in a "sexing up game".

"At no point did anybody from the prime minister down say to anybody within the intelligence services: 'You have got to tailor it to fit this judgement or that judgement,'" Campbell said.

"The whole way through, it could not have been made clearer to everybody that nothing would override the intelligence judgements and that John Scarlett was the person who, if you like, had the single pen."


First Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 23:30

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