Tony Blair faces calls for impeachment on release of Chilcot report

Labour and SNP figures consider legal action against former PM to ban him from office over role in Iraq war

Senior figures from Labour and the Scottish National party are considering calls for legal action against Tony Blair if the former prime minister faces severe criticisms from the long-awaited inquiry into the war in Iraq.

A number of MPs led by Alex Salmond are expected to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister when the Chilcot report comes out on Wednesday.

The law, last used in 1806 when the Tory minister Lord Melville was charged for misappropriating official funds, is seen in Westminster as an alternative form of punishment that could ensure Blair never holds office again.

Triggering the process simply requires an MP to propose a motion and provide supporting evidence as part of a document called the article of impeachment which has no time limit placed upon it. If the impeachment attempt is approved by MPs, the defendant is delivered to Black Rod before a trial.

A simple majority is required to convict, at which point a sentence can be passed which could, in theory, involve Blair being sent to prison. However, MPs have said the attempt will be symbolic and is unlikely to result in imprisonment.

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