Syria leader Bashar al-Assad: Defence secretary Philip Hammond confuses president with Saddam Hussein during Newsnight interview
The Tory minister blundered when he said: ‘Britain should not take part in any action against Saddam Hussein’
After David Cameron’s House of Commons defeat over Syria last night, defence secretary Philip Hammond got slightly confused about what exactly was going on – mixing up Bashar al-Assad with Saddam Hussein TWICE on Newsnight.
The Conservative minister was talking about the fall-out from the Tory’s failed Parliamentary motion when he appeared to confuse the Syrian leader with the former Iraqi dictator, who was executed in 2006.
The MP for Runnymede and Weybridge said: “The fact that the British parliament has clearly voted that Britain should not take part in any action against Saddam Hussein… does not mean that the international community will not do so.”
He also spoke about “deterring Saddam Hussein from further use of chemical weapons”.
The defence minister had previously said that the Government’s failed vote could have been the fault of Tony Blair, who he said had “poisoned the well” of public opinion over Iraq.