Blair pledged UK to war in notes to Bush - Alastair Campbell

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Tony Blair sent President Bush a series of secret notes in the run-up to the Iraq war in which he promised that Britain would "be there" if it came to military action against Saddam Hussein, it emerged today.

The existence of the letters, sent from Downing Street in 2002, was revealed by Mr Blair's chief spin-doctor, Alastair Campbell, as he gave evidence to an independent inquiry into the origins of the Iraq war.

The former director of communications at No 10 was the biggest name yet to testify before Sir John Chilcot's panel, where he was questioned for almost five hours – two hours more than originally scheduled.

Mr Blair will appear before the panel at a later date, as will Gordon Brown, who Mr Campbell said today had been part of Mr Blair's "inner circle" on Iraq.

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