by Paul Gilfeather, Whitehall Editor | Mirror | 12 July 2003
EXCLUSIVE: Glenda Jackson attacks PM
TONY Blair must quit if weapons of mass destruction are not found in Iraq, former minister Glenda Jackson said yesterday.
In one of the strongest attacks on Mr Blair's leadership yet by a former member of his Government, Ms Jackson said time was running out.
As several senior Labour figures raised doubts over his future, she said: "He must resign if they are not found. This is most certainly a resigning matter. British troops died for goodness sake.
"Now he is saying that only weapons 'programmes' will be found.
"Does that mean we went to war because Saddam Hussein could launch chopped up pieces of paper - effectively confetti - within 45 minutes?
"Tony Blair placed British troops in clear and present danger on the basis that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was ready to use them.
"If they are not found then why did we go to war? Why were people killed?"
Labour MP Ian Gibson said Mr Blair's political future hinged on a WMD discovery.
He said: "Labour activists are appalled at what has happened over the evidence for war and will never forget it."
The revolt snowballed yesterday as Downing Street insisted "concrete evidence" of Iraq's weapons would be found. Cabinet minister Peter Hain said "delivery systems" for missiles had already been located.
But senior MP Alice Mahon said she would demand the PM be called to the Commons to make a statement. She said: "It has become clear that the reasons given for going to war were grossly exaggerated."
Ex-minister Clare Short said it would be best if Mr Blair stood down and made way for Gordon Brown as PM before the situation got "nastier".