Sheffield dad whose son died in Iraq War defends Tony Blair

Bill Stewardson with a photo of his son Alex Green, who was killed in the Iraq War aged 21
Bill Stewardson with a photo of his son Alex Green, who was killed in the Iraq War aged 21
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The father of a Sheffield soldier killed in the Iraq War has defended former prime minister Tony Blair in the wake of fresh criticism.

Sir John Chilcot, whose long-awaited inquiry into the invasion was published last year, today told the BBC Mr Blair had not been 'straight with the nation' over his decision to deploy troops.

Bill Stewardson, from Woodhouse Mill, lost his son, Kingsman Alex Green, in January 2007 when the 21-year-old was fatally shot while escorting a convoy in Basra.

He told the BBC he was 'very disapopinted' by Mr Chilcot's comments, claiming it was easy to try to 'vilify' Mr Blair for taking what was a 'reasonable decision'.

"I don't believe that for one second and I'm very disappointed that Mr Chilcot has popped up 12 months after a huge inquiry to speak the way he's spoken," he said.

"I accepted a long time ago that Mr Blair acted on reasonable evidence placed in front of him and it's oh so very easy to jump on that issue afterwards and try to vilify him for taking what was a reasonable decision."

Speaking to the BBC, Sir John accused Mr Blair of relying on his 'belief' rather than the facts presented to him, though a spokesman for the ex-leader said Sir John had made it clear he believed Mr Blair had 'not departed from the truth'.

The Chilcot report found the case for the Iraq War had been based on 'flawed' intelligence about weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam Hussein had posed no 'imminent threat' to the UK.