Interesting to see that John Prescott now says he was “nervous” about the intelligence that provided the basis for the Iraq invasion.
On the basis of the Alastair Campbell diaries, “JP” – far from expressing nerves about the war - played an enforcer role in making sure that the cabinet knuckled down behind Tony Blair.
September 23, 2002. There was a cabinet meeting.
“JP came in with quite a hit on Robin and Clare, said we could all do our bit of positioning to make our own view heard, and get a few plaudits, but we were in this together. He said TB had done a brilliant job moving the US down the UN route and we should stick with him and stick together….he said Tony had an incredibly difficult job at times like this and we should support him.”
January 16, 2003. Another cabinet meeting.
“At the end of the discussion JP did a very passionate wind-up. He said the discussion showed that there was no real division ‘so let’s stop pretending there is’. He said the briefings and the ‘talking out the side of the mouth’ have to stop….sometimes we have to make difficult judgments. If TB has the courage to put the case, we should get behind him.