Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has reportedly suggested that Tony Blair’s “bloody crusades” in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the radicalisation of young British Muslims.
His controversial comments were made last month at a fundraising event for Lord Prescott’s son, David, according to the Daily Telegraph.
At the event, Lord Prescottis reported to have said that Mr Blair is “unfortunately” a supporter of regime change in the Middle East and that he “wants to invade everywhere”.
He said: “I was with Tony Blair on Iraq. We were wrong. They told us it wasn’t regime change. It was. And that’s exactly what the Americans have had. Now Tony, unfortunately is still in to that. I mean the way he’s going now , he now wants to invade everywhere.
“He should put a white coat on with a red cross and let’s start the bloody crusades again.”
He added: “When I hear people talking about how people are radicalised, young Muslims. I’ll tell you how they are radicalised. Every time they watch the television where their families are worried, their kids are being killed and murdered and rockets firing on all these people, that’s what radicalises them.”
The event came just days before Labour leader EdMiliband announced that Lord Prescott, known during his time in office as “two jags”,was becoming his special adviser on climate change.
A Labour Party spokesman distanced the party from the comments and told the newspaper: “John’s views on this do not represent the views of the Labour Party.”
Bob Neill, the Conservative vice-chairman, was quoted as saying: “This latest lapse into introspection shows Labour haven’t changed. Their bitter divisions would cause chaos for Britain if they got into Government.
“They obsess over Tony Blair and his legacy because Ed Miliband has none of the leadership needed to pull his party together – let alone the country. The Conservative Party offer competence and a plan for a more secure future, but Labour are looking backwards.”