"He said it was the 'threat' that Saddam presented to the region that was uppermost in his mind. The development of weapons of mass destruction was one aspect of that threat.
Mr Blair said that there had been 12 years of the United Nations going 'to and fro' on the subject, and he noted that Saddam had used chemical weapons on his own people.
Asked by Britton if he would still have gone on had he known there were no weapons of mass destruction, he said: 'I would still have thought it right to remove him.'" Why does this matter? Because it proves that Blair willfully misled the British public into the war. At the time, he said that if Saddam would have disarmed then the war would have been averted (because the regime would have changed). As he told the Commons on 25 February, 2003:
Now, he is admitting this was untue.“
"I detest his regime—I hope most people do—but even now, he could save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully. I do not want war. I do not believe anyone in the House wants war. But disarmament peacefully can happen only with Saddam's active co-operation."
UPDATE: John Rentoul blogs that Blair was asked a similar question by Adam Boulton three years ago. To make my position clear: I agree with what Blair says now, and that was my position at the time. I was for deposing Saddam with or without WMD (which I sincerely, and wrongly, believed that he had at the time). I think that Blair stretched the truth in his hope of getting a UN resolution, and that his focus on the international accord meant he committed an unforgiveable error on the domestic front: he was not honest with the country on the reasons for taking us into war.