'Tony Blair is a liar who cannot be trusted,' slams stepfather of a British soldier killed in Iraq
James Gill was seething after the former Prime Minister suggested 17 million people’s votes to leave in last year’s EU referendum did not provide a mandate for Brexit.
Mr Blair said there was little clarity over what the vote meant when the referendum took place and that the Government was set on "Brexit at any cost".
He said: ”The people voted without knowledge of the terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.
"This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair; but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe."
Richard Shearer was blown up during a war waged at the former Labour leader’s behest
Mr Blair destroyed our family and now he is trying to destroy a democratic vote
Speaking last night, pensioner Mr Gill expressed his fury over his refusal to accept the will of the people.
His anger comes 12 years after his son Richard Shearer was blown up during a war waged at the former Labour leader’s behest.
Daily Express reader Mr Gill, 67, said: “Mr Blair destroyed our family and now he is trying to destroy a democratic vote.
"We are not idiots, this country voted to leave lock, stock and barrel. The audacity of this man knows no limits.
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Mr Gill expressed his fury over his refusal to accept the will of the people
"This is someone who has been swanning around earning millions. Blair and his cohorts sent my son to his death. He is a liar and cannot be trusted.”
Not a day passes without Mr James, his wife Maureen and her son Jason Shearer, 35, mourning the loss of Richard, a Second Lieutenant with 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment.
The family say Mr Blair’s stance is rubbing salt into their wounds.
Second Lt Shearer had only been back in Iraq from leave for four days when he, Private Leon Spicer, 26, and Private Phillip Hewett, 21, perished after their Land Rover was blown up by a roadside bomb in Amarah on July 16, 2005.
Two other British soldiers were also injured in the ambush.
Mr Shearer died 12 years ago
Mr Gill, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, one of Britain’s most eurosceptic regions, said the family had been let down in the wake of Richard and he felt duty bound to speak out after listening to Mr Blair’s diatribe yesterday.
He said: “We were withheld information on what happened to our son for years. We only found out what actually happened from troops on the ground.
“We were sent various bits of paper by the authorities but all of the information was blacked out. They would not tell us anything. Before he went [to Iraq] Richard said it was an unjust war.
“As a Christian I have chosen to forgive Mr Blair. But we have had a democratic vote so to rally against that is just rank hypocrisy of the highest order.
"This is a man who doesn’t understand democracy. We want to live in a democratic country under the rule of law. How dare he tell us what to do. This is about our rights as a nation.”
Richard Shearer while serving in Iraq with Stafford Regiment
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Mr Blair, 63, quit Downing Street in 2007 and has amassed an estimated personal fortune of £60 million.
He runs a consultancy business and has set up various foundations in his own name, including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and owns a vast property portfolio.
Second Lt Shearer served in the French Foreign Legion before passing out of officer’s academy Sandhurst and joining the regiment in 2004.
His comrades described him as a “soldier’s soldier” who lead from the front.
However, he had grave reservations about the British military’s ability to do the job in Iraq and complained to his family that troops were ill-equipped while vital kit kept failing and men were drained from lack of sleep.
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His mother Maureen, 67, said of Mr Blair: “How dare he try to reverse the will of the British people.
"We voted to leave but would have accepted the vote whatever the outcome because that’s democracy.
“I feel angry and sick. This is a man who should have been tried for what he did let alone be giving advice to the British people on what he thinks they should do.
"To be told what to say and think by Tony Blair is the final insult.”
Operation Telic was the name for British combat operations in Iraq between March 19, 2003 and May 22, 2011.
During the campaign 179 British servicemen and women and at three civilian staff were killed. Hundreds more were wounded.
The Iraq Inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot and published in July last year after a lengthy delay, found Mr Blair had overstated the threat posed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, sent ill-prepared troops into battle and had “wholly inadequate” plans for the aftermath of war.