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John Major: Iraq papers decision 'embarrassing' for Blair

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has said the decision to withhold some of the correspondence about the Iraq war will be "very embarrassing" for Tony Blair.

Sir John Major told Radio 4's Today programme: “I think it is a pity the papers are going to be withheld for several reasons. Firstly, they will leave suspicions unresolved and those suspicions will fester and maybe worsen."

He also argued that the ruling ran counter to Mr Blair's actions to make government more transparent.

"And secondly, in many ways I think withholding them is going to be very embarrassing for Mr Blair, not least of course because he brought in the Freedom of Information Act into law when he was in government."

Read: Mother of dead soldier 'sickened' by Chilcot decision

Major: 'When John Cole spoke, everyone listened'

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has paid tribute to BBC broadcaster John Cole, saying that when he "spoke, everyone listened."

John Cole was one of the finest political correspondents of my lifetime, and a real credit to his profession. When John spoke, everyone listened.

He was always well-informed, balanced - and trustworthy - and set the bar very high for all who followed.

My thoughts and sympathy are with his family.

– Former prime minister Sir John Major

Read: Cameron 'saddened' by news of Cole's death

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Sir John Major was 'too sensitive' over press coverage

Sir John Major said he was "too sensitive" over press coverage towards him when he was Prime Minister, as he gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.

Leveson Inquiry Sir John Major
Sir John Major is giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. Credit: Leveson Inquiry

The former Prime Minister - who held office from 1990 to 1997 - said his poor relationship with the press was down to his decision not to court them which, he added, would have been "undignified".

Sir John added that the press cannot hold the Government to account if there is too much "chumminess" between them.

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