LONDON (AP) — A Cabinet minister who had threatened to resign if Britain went to war in Iraq quit Monday, angrily accusing Prime Minster Tony Blair of breaking his promise to give the United Nations a central role in the country.
Stepping down as International Development Secretary, Clare Short aimed a barrage of criticism, not just at Blair's handling of Iraq but at his whole style of government.
In a stinging speech in the House of Commons, Short said the United States and Britain were now repeating mistakes they made before the war and that she could not support their draft Security Council resolution, which would give the United Nations only a limited role in Iraq.
The U.N. Security Council, she argued, is the only body with the legal authority to create a new Iraqi government and should be allowed to do so, saying she was "ashamed" Blair's government didn't share that view.
Most of her colleagues were surprised that Short, an outspoken government veteran, stayed in her job after saying just before war began that Blair's handling of the Iraq crisis was "deeply reckless."
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