Then Attorney General Goldsmith was ‘pinned to the wall and bullied into keeping quiet’ while the Prime Minister kept the Cabinet in the dark. Tony Blair will be quizzed over a devastating official memo warning him that war on Iraq would be illegal eight months before he sent troops into Baghdad, it was claimed last night. The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will consider a letter from Lord Goldsmith, then Mr Blair’s top law officer, advising him that deposing Saddam would be in breach of international law, according to a report in The Mail on Sunday. But Mr Blair refused to accept Lord Goldsmith’s advice and instead issued instructions for his long-term friend to be “gagged” and barred from cabinet meetings, the newspaper claimed. Lord Goldsmith apparently lost three stone, and complained he was “more or less pinned to the wall” in a No 10 showdown with two of Mr Blair’s most loyal aides, Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan. Mr Blair also allegedly failed to inform the Cabinet of the warning, fearing an “anti-war revolt”. Lord Goldsmith allegedly threatened to resign over the issue, but was “bullied” into backing down. He eventually issued carefully drafted qualified backing for the invasion. But according to The Mail on Sunday, his advice was radically different in July 2002, when ministers were allegedly told the US and UK planned “regime change” in Iraq.
Violent clashes hit the Egyptian capital after the national football team lost a World Cup qualifying match to Algeria