Remaining quiet for 12 long years after the Iraqi invasion, Blair makes his dramatic ‘mea culpa’ during a TV interview about the ‘hell’ caused by his and George Bush’s decision to oust Saddam Hussein.
He is reported to have also said: ‘I also apologise for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.’ 'Of course you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.’
Here are some of the tough questions asked by CNN and Blair's response:
The revelation is said have been forced on Tony Blair after Lord Blunkett revealed he had challenged Blair about the war.
It may be recalled that earlier Blair has categoricall said at the House of Commons in 2004: 'I will not apologise for the conflict. I believe it was right.' He further said in a TV interview in 2007: ‘I don’t think we should be apologising at all for what we are doing in Iraq. We should be immensely proud. I can’t take responsibility for people sending car bombs into a market place.’
And as lately as 2013, Blair said: ‘When people say to me, “Do you regret removing him”, my answer is, “No – how can you regret removing somebody who was a monster?” ’
Watch the 2002 video: