Tony Blair’s decision to take Britain to war in Iraq was illegal, the foreign office’s former chief legal adviser will tell the Chilcot inquiry this week.
Sir Michael Wood, who was the foreign office’s most senior lawyer, is ready to reveal that, in the run-up to war, he was of the opinion that the conflict would have been unlawful without a second UN resolution. This will provide an explosive backdrop to the former prime minister’s appearance before the inquiry on Friday.
The evidence from Wood, who will appear before the committee on Tuesday, will provide the firmest proof to date of the bitter wranglings that divided the government in the countdown to war.
His testimony will come the day before the appearance of Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, who is said to have dropped his legal objections days before the invasion, following intense pressure from Blair and his closest advisers, and the US authorities.
It is also believed that the legal advice from Wood, who left the foreign office in 2006, could be published for the first time by the inquiry.