Donaldson defends Tony Blair over his role in NI

Tony Blair
Tony Blair

Tony Blair’s leading role in ending terrorism in Northern Ireland has been praised by a DUP MP.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson defended the former Prime Minister, insisting he should not be labelled a supporter of terrorism by critics of the Iraq war.

However, the Lagan Valley MP, whose brother was in one of the first British Army units to cross the border from Kuwait into Iraq following the 2003 vote, supports the need for Mr Blair to face scrutiny.

He said: “I worked very closely with the former prime minister in Northern Ireland in the peace process and I want to say that the idea that the former prime minister is a terrorist, or a supporter of terrorism, is wrong.”

Sir Jeffrey added: “No one did more to bring an end to terrorism in Northern Ireland, or at least as far as it goes at the present time, than the former prime minister.

“And whilst at times I disagreed with the way that he went about things in Northern Ireland, whilst at times he acted with the best of intentions, but I have to say he blurred the lines at times and I think this is part of the problem.

“Maybe he was acting out of the best of intentions in regards to Iraq but I don’t think he was wholly honest with this House in terms of the information before us.”

He added: “I think it’s right that we examine the advice that the prime minister gave at the time, the information he put to us, and consider whether he potentially misled this House.”