Damning verdict on Blair: Dad of tragic West Yorkshire soldier gives Chilcot reaction

Peter Brierley outside Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, for the publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War. PIC: PA
Peter Brierley outside Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, for the publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War. PIC: PA
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THE father of a West Yorkshire soldier killed in Iraq believes the Chilcot Report DOES contain sufficient evidence for Tony Blair to be brought before a court.

Peter Brierley, from Batley, also said the report’s damning conclusion that military action was not “a last resort” showed that his son, 28-year-old Shaun, died in vain.

Speaking after appearing at a press conference with other bereaved relatives in London yesterday, Mr Brierley told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I would like to see Tony Blair standing in a courtroom and I think, judging by what I have read in the summary, there is enough evidence in the report for that to happen.

“To hear that war in this case was not a last resort just makes me feel that Shaun’s death was completely unnecessary, as has been all the devastation we have seen in Iraq.

“I hope that if a time comes when we are considering whether to go to war again, then what we have learned today is remembered and taken into account.” Mr Brierley, 65, added: “The report has exceeded my expectations, really. I thought it could be close to a cover-up, with reams of facts and figures. At first glance, though, it is near to being what I hoped it would be.”

Reaction also came from Simon Brown, an ex-serviceman from Morley who was all but blinded and suffered serious facial injuries when he was shot in Iraq in 2006.

Bereaved father Peter Brierley.

Bereaved father Peter Brierley.

The 37-year-old former Royal Engineer told the YEP: “I think any squaddie could have said pretty much the same as a lot of the report.

“I appreciate the part that praises the military, the civilian staff and all of the Iraqi civilian staff that were working alongside us – it’s nice that the bravery that was shown under difficult circumstances has been recognised.

“But the report doesn’t seem to bring up anything that hasn’t been discussed before.

“Flawed intelligence, that has been talked about before. I have said myself that there was a lack of planning for what would be done after Saddam Hussein was deposed – the war was over too quickly for them.

Shaun Brierley in Iraq a few days before he was killed.

Shaun Brierley in Iraq a few days before he was killed.

“What should happen now and what will happen now? I can’t say what should happen without seeing the full evidence. What will happen, I think, is that there are going to be a lot of people looking for more justice. I can see the families of those that died are going to want someone punished, for someone to be held accountable.

“It’s a shame, they have already spent years in turmoil through losing a loved one and I don’t think this report will give them closure.”

Scalextric electric car racing set. PIC: PA

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