US split would damage morale

Prime Minister Tony Blair has told Cabinet colleagues that any open disagreement with the US over Iraq risked damaging troops’ morale.

The point was also underlined by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, said Mr Blair’s official spokesman.

He said their comments came during a brief Cabinet discussion about progress towards the handover of sovereignty in Iraq on June 30.

Mr Blair’s remarks came after Tory leader Michael Howard urged him to be more open about any disagreements with America.

Mr Howard said that he and his party had supported war to topple dictator Saddam Hussein and still believed it was “the right thing to do”. Mr Blair was right to say that Britain must “see it through”.

But he complained of a “serious lack of candour” about Mr Blair’s discussions with President George Bush.

“He seems to take the view that any advice he offers on US policy must be made in private and any disagreement kept secret,” wrote the Tory leader in The Independent.

Comments are closed.