Former UK defense secretary says Blair ordered memo on Iraq war destroyed


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SULAIMANI — Former UK Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said the British prime minister’s office ordered him to burn a secret memo that said the 2003 invasion of Iraq could be illegal, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday (January 4).

The allegation comes amid a campaign to strip former British Prime Minister Tony Blair of his knighthood. Blair, who was in power from 1997 to 2007 was rewarded with the Order of the Garter over the New Year.

The allegations over the order to destroy the memo first emerged in 2015, when the former PM said the claim was "nonsense.”

Hoon said, according to the Daily Mail, that his private secretary was told by Blair’s chief of staff "in no uncertain terms” to destroy the secret memo after reading it. The former defense secretary says he ignored the order and preserved the document in a locked safe.

Hoon’s claim may add fuel to the campaign to revoke Blair’s knighthood. A petition to remove the honor has topped 600,000 signatures, according to the BBC.

(NRT Digital Media)