Iraq inquiry: Alastair Campbell 'misrepresented' purpose of WMD dossier

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Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street communications director, has been accused by a former military intelligence chief of “misrepresenting” the purpose of the so-called dodgy dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in his evidence to the Iraq inquiry.

Last year Mr Campbell refuted suggestions that he had been asked to “beef up” the dossier, saying its purpose had not been “to make a case for war” in Iraq.

But Major General Michael Laurie, who was the Ministry of Defence’s director general, intelligence collection, from 2002 to 2003, told the inquiry that making a case for war was “exactly its purpose”.

Maj Gen Laurie added that he and his colleagues were told that a previous intelligence dossier “did not make a strong enough case” and for months he was “under pressure to find intelligence that could reinforce the case” for war.

His evidence, which is the first time such a senior intelligence officer has directly contradicted the Blair government’s official line on the dossier, will restart the row over whether Downing Street “sexed up” the September 2002 document to persuade the public and MPs that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was necessary....

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