Call for independent inquiry into Iraq war - new e-mails released under FoI

Calls for a new inquiry into the Iraq war intensified last night after opposition parties claimed previously secret e-mails revealed a systematic and deliberate attempt to embellish the UK Government's controversial dossier on weapons of mass destruction.

The documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show British intelligence officials expressed concern that the dossier suggested Saddam Hussein's alleged WMD programme was more advanced than they actually believed was the case.

They complained of "iffy drafting" and mocked the claims made about Iraq's nuclear programme, suggesting it was the work of "Dr Frankenstein".

Angus Robertson, leader of the SNP at Westminster, told The Herald: "The case for war in Iraq is now totally exposed as a lie. Gordon Brown, who supported the war, must immediately announce the starting date of an independent inquiry."

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "These minutes shed interesting light on the process by which the caveats in the Joint Intelligence Committee's original assessment of Iraq's WMD programmes were stripped out of the dossier that was presented to Parliament."

Ed Davey for the Liberal Democrats claimed that the documents revealed a "systematic and deliberate attempt to paint the worst possible case" despite the fact the intelligence was "ropey".

Revealed: spies had doubts over Iraq dossier (The Herald, 13 March 2009)