MPs could summons Blair over Libya cash

Tony Blair has been asked to supply written evidence by the NI Affairs committee
Tony Blair has been asked to supply written evidence by the NI Affairs committee

Former prime minister Tony Blair may yet be called to appear before the Northern Ireland Affairs committee.

MPs are holding an inquiry into failures to secure compensation from Libya for victims of weaponry it supplied to the IRA.

Chair of the committee, Laurence Robertson MP, told the News Letter that they were asking for written evidence from Mr Blair at this time.

“It may or may not be the case that we could feel it necessary to summons him to appear in person at some point in the future,” he said.

He noted his committee had summoned Mr Blair to appear before it earlier this year to answer questions about IRA On-The-Run letters.

He was speaking as it emerged that Mr Blair is to be questioned on December 11 at a Foreign Office Committee inquiry about the UK’s foreign policy towards Libya during his time as prime minister.

Mr Blair famously met former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in his desert tent in 2004 and again in 2007.

Emails from the account of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, released earlier this year under American freedom of information laws, suggested that Mr Blair privately urged Gaddafi to stand aside as rebellion erupted against his regime in 2011.

Mr Blair told Gaddafi to find “a safe place to go” as part of a “managed” process of political change before the situation reached “the point of no return”, according to the emails.

And a biography of David Cameron – Cameron At 10, by Sir Anthony Seldon – claimed that Mr Blair telephoned Downing Street at the time to say that he had been contacted by “a key individual close to Gaddafi” and that the Libyan dictator wanted to “cut a deal” with Britain.