President George Bush first asked Tony Blair to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001.
According to Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to Washington, who was at the dinner, Blair told Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror's initial goal - dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Bush, claims Meyer, replied by saying: 'I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.' Regime change was already US policy
Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has strongly criticized George Bush and Tony Blair for waging an unnecessary war to oust Saddam Hussein based on "lies or misinterpretations". The 2002 Nobel peace prize winner said Mr Blair had allowed his better judgment to be swayed by Mr Bush's desire to finish a war that his father had started.
Tony Blair admitted for the first time that weapons of mass destruction may never be found in Iraq, but he refused to apologise for the invasion and would not admit that the absence of stockpiles undermined his case for war.
They follow a similar admission by the former chief British political representative in Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock.