Blair to face final questioning by top parliamentary committee

Other News Materials 18 June 2007 18:10 (UTC +04:00)

( Irna ) - The House of Commons Liaison Committee would hold its 11th and final evidence session with outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair, just over a week before he steps down from power.

The committee, made up of the chairs of 30 parliamentary committees, is expected to question Blair about his policies for the last time in February ahead of his departure from office.

Liaison chair Alan Williams has announced that the prime minister had agreed to one final questioning session to review his decade in power after he announced the date of his departure.

The committee is expected to question Blair for the last time on a range of domestic and international issues that will be based on a limited number of themes selected in advance.

In February, the prime minister said that one of the issues the UK government had to decide was whether it wanted to continue along the same foreign policy approach as in recent years, which he described had been 'distinctive'.

"I think that is a huge question for the future. Do we want to continue on that path or do we want, for example, to choose a more European way over an American way? That is the debate that is going on there," he said.

The final session comes after Blair agreed to be regularly cross- questioned by the committee twice a year in 2002 as a way of being more accountable to parliament.

At the first hearing, Blair repeated his belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and had to be dealt with before he unleashed them on the world but refused to confirm he would seek the backing of MPs in the event of military action.

Since then, the issue of Iraq, the subsequent war, the failure to find weapons to justify the invasion and the increasingly violent aftermath have been recurring themes raised at all sessions.