British MPs seek to impeach Tony Blair over Iraq war

London, July 2 (IANS) A number of Members of Parliament in Britain are seeking to impeach former Prime Minister Tony Blair using an ancient parliamentary law for his alleged role in misleading Parliament over the Iraq war.

The move, which has cross-party support, could be launched in the aftermath of the Chilcot Inquiry report, Independent online reported on Saturday.

MPs believe Blair, who was in office between 1997 and 2007, should be prosecuted for breaching his constitutional duties and taking the country into a conflict that resulted in the deaths of 179 British troops.

Not used since 1806, when Tory minister Lord Melville was charged for misappropriating official funds, the law is seen in Westminster as an alternative form of punishment if, as believed, Blair escapes serious criticism in the Chilcot Inquiry report, the news report added.

Triggering the process simply requires an MP to propose a motion, and support evidence as part of a document called the Article of Impeachment.

If the impeachment attempt is approved by MPs, the defendant is delivered to Black Rod — a senior officer in the House of Lords who is responsible for controlling access to and maintaining order within the House and its precincts — ahead of a trial.

A simple majority is required to convict, at which point a sentence can be passed, which could, in theory, involve Blair being sent to prison.

Last year, current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said the former Prime Minister could be made to stand trial for war crimes, saying that he thought the Iraq War was an illegal one and that Blair “has to explain that”.

–IANS

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