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5 Mar, 2010 11:38

Gordon Brown faces grilling over Iraq war

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted that the decision to invade Iraq was correct, giving testimony in an official inquiry into what role he played in Britain’s decision to follow America into war.

Key witnesses have accused Brown, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, of cutting defense spending after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, thus leaving British troops without adequate resources to fight.

Jeremy Corbyn, who is from the British Labour Party and one of the MPs who backed the call for a government inquiry, says defense cuts were made “in the atmosphere of post-Cold War Europe” when such reductions were common among most European countries.

In 2001, however, there was a large increase in military expenditures in the US and UK because of the war in Afghanistan.

“I think that the arguments with Brown about the equipment were a bit of a red herring, because what we should be talking about is the principles behind the Iraq war, the process that led up to the invasion and about political as well as financial consequences,” Corbyn told RT.

The British MP added that “8.5 billion pounds of British money has been spent in Iraq already.”

According to Corbyn, who has been a member of parliament since 1983, believes the inquiry will not make a significant difference on the results of Britain’s approaching general election, which is expected to be held in early May, because the leaders of the two main parties have always supported the war.

“It won’t make an enormous difference but it will remind people one more time that Gordon Brown was in the cabinet when the country went to war,” Corbyn predicted. “He was part of decision-making process, but actually said very little about it during the whole period.”

Jeremy Corbin said that the inquiry was first planned as a series of private hearings, but later turned into a much-anticipated public hearing.

The British MP says that so far the line of questioning during the inquiry has not been particularly tough.

“But it’s not a particular tough inquiry. The questioning has so far not been particularly tough. I think we haven’t heard the end of it yet. I am quite sure there are many people who are trying to prepare legal action particularly against Tony Blair for the war in Iraq,” Corbyn concluded.