In a move that will infuriate many of the disloyal Blairite MPs in his own caucus, Jeremy Corbyn has shown once and for all that he is the moral UK Labour Leader for our times. The Mirror has the full text of Corbyn’s speech, and it is worth reading through in its entirety. Here is an excerpt:
As I said earlier, I have just been meeting a group of families, military servicemen and women who lost their loved ones, Iraq war veterans and Iraqi citizens who lost relatives as a result of that war, that the US and British governments launched.
I apologised to them for the decisions taken by our then government that led the country into a disastrous war.
It was a disaster that occurred when we were in government, 140 of my then colleagues opposed it at the time, as did many, many, many members of my party, of trade unions and of many other organisations in this country.
Many more have since said that they regret their vote. My fellow MPs who voted for the war in 2003 did so on the basis of loyalty to the government and information and intelligence which the Chilcot Report has been confirmed to have been false.
They were misled by a small number of leading figures who were committed to joining the United States invasion come what may and were none too scrupulous about how they made the case for war.
Politicians and political parties can only grow stronger by acknowledging when they get it wrong and by facing up to their mistakes.
So I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq.
The apology is owed first of all to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the country is still living with the devastating consequences of the war and the forces it unleashed.
They have paid the greatest price for the most serious foreign policy calamity of the last 60 years.
The apology is also owed to the families of those soldiers who died in Iraq or who have returned home injured and incapacitated.
They did their duty, but it was in a conflict they should never have been sent to.
Jeremy Corbyn delivering part of this speech to the public: