Eddie backs fighting fund for Iraq '˜justice'
The dad of a Wigan soldier killed in Iraq War has backed other parents who have started an online crowdfunding appeal to pay for possible legal action against Tony Blair and leading government officials.
The Iraq War Families Campaign Group has launched the bid to raise £50,000 to “bring to justice those responsible for the war and the deaths of our loved ones”.
Eddie Hancock, whose son Jamie was shot by a sniper during the conflict, says he will support the appeal and will send a cheque.
The damning Chilcot report, which was published on July 6, described the invasion as “legally far from satisfactory” and said that Britain went into the war in 2003 with “flawed intelligence and assessments”.
The group is led by Roger Bacon and Reg Keys, whose sons were both killed in Iraq.
Eddie said: “Their children were killed in a Snatch Land Rover and they had no batteries in their radios so they couldn’t call for help.
“I will send them a cheque to help them and I hope it gets somewhere but I’m not hugely confident. Personally, I’ve written to my MP Yvonne Fovargue asking to see her to ask if we can get Blair banned from public office. If he went back to Sedgefield and put his red rosette on, he would get in.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ms Fovargue and the last time I saw her she told me how proud she was of our justice system. I hope she still feels the same way.”
Mr Hancock says he wasn’t surprised at all by the findings of the inquiry and has previously praised Sir John Chilcot for his efforts.
However, he doesn’t think this should be the end and that Mr Blair should have action taken against him.
He added: “The ongoing problems that we have now with Isis is an after effect of what happened in Iraq.
“Yes Blair was elected to make decisions but he wasn’t elected to undermine the UN.
“I have always raised concerns about going to war with Iraq, even before Jamie died. Blair was looking for a regime change though.
“I wish the best of luck to the appeal for legal fees.”
On the fund-raising page on the crowdjustice.co.uk website, they said there had been speculation that Mr Blair and others “can and should” be taken to court and “we, the families, wish to bring such legal proceedings against any state officials who might have acted unlawfully or in excess of their powers”.
They added: “Before Matthew, Tom and so many of their fellow servicemen and women died, we knew the risks all British military personnel assume when serving Queen and country.
“However, the long-awaited Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot) Report has confirmed that there were serious failings in the lead-up to, planning and conduct of the war, which led to so many unnecessary deaths.
“Our armed forces must never again be so callously sacrificed by political ambition and the irresponsibility and failings of government and Whitehall.”
The group are aiming to raise £150,000 in total to fund their lawyers, McCue and Partners - currently working free of charge - to fully analyse the 2.6 million-word report by Sir John Chilcot and prepare “a comprehensive opinion approved by expert senior counsel”.