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Saddam 'posed a threat as long as he was in power'

Saddam Hussein "would have posed a threat as long as he was in power", Tony Blair said.

The former prime minister said if Hussein had not been toppled he would have contributed to the Arab revolution in 2011.

"The world is a better place without Saddam. I believe it was the right thing to do."

Blair added that it would have been hard to assemble forces at a later date, and that Saddam Hussein would have had a stronger position. He continued that in this stronger position the Iraqi dictator would have gone on to develop nuclear and chemical weapons.

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Blair: I had to act on information I was given at the time

Tony Blair has said he had to act on information he was given in reports at the time even if some of it turned out to later be wrong.

He told a press conference: "I only ask that people read the reports given to me, first in September 2001 and then in March 2002, and in the days leading up to the invasion.

"In hindsight, we now know that some of this information was not correct, but I had to act on the information I had at the time."

Blair: I made war decision 'with the heaviest of hearts'

Former prime minister Tony Blair has said that he took the decision to go to war in Iraq "with the heaviest of hearts" and that "there was no middle-way".

Blair added that he made the decision believing that it was the right thing to do, but knowing that it was not a popular one.

He added that leaving Saddam Hussein in power would have had higher costs than going to war.

Tony Blair: I had to consider possibility of 9/11 in UK

Tony Blair has said that "there was no rush to war", but he had to take into account at least "the possibility of a 9/11 here, in Britain".

He said as prime minister his primary response was to protect his country, and asked people to put themselves in his shoes.

Her added he had made it clear publicly and privately that the UK would stand with the US on the issue of the Iraq War.

But he insists his note to George Bush saying: "I will be with you, whatever" meant he would "be with the USA in dealing with this issue".

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Tony Blair: I'm more sorry than you will ever know

Tony Blair has said he is sorry for the mistakes in the planning of the Iraq War, following the publication of the Chilcot report.

The former prime minister said he accepted full responsibility "without exception or excuse".

He added: "The intelligence at the time turned out to be wrong, the aftermath turned out to be more hostile and bloody than we imagined, and a nation of people we wanted to set free became victims of sectarian terrorism.

"I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know."

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