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Protester interrupts Blair's appearance at Leveson inquiry

"This man is a war criminal," shouts intruder.

New Statesman
Protesters outside the Royal Courts of Justice today. Photograph: Getty Images

In scenes reminiscent of Rupert Murdoch’s appearance in front of MPs last year, a protester has interrupted Tony Blair’s appearance at the Leveson inquiry.

The former prime minister is giving evidence to the inquiry on media standards, which is taking place at the Royal Courts of Justice.

A man dressed in a white shirt and chinos, later identified as David Lawley Wakelin from a group called the Alternative Iraq Enquiry, entered the courtroom from a curtain behind Lord Justice Leveson. He shouted: “This man should be arrested for war crimes”, before adding allegations that the bank JP Morgan paid Blair millions of dollars in connection with the war. He was dragged out of the room by several security guards, still shouting “This man is a war criminal”.

Leveson appeared shaken, and apologised to Blair, saying: "I'd like to find out how this gentlemen managed to access the court through what is supposed to be a secure corridor, and I'll have an investigation undertaken about that immediately."

Blair – who must be getting used to people calling him a war criminal – remained still throughout the interruption. He said: "Can I just say, actually, on the record, what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue."

The hearing continues this afternoon.

You can watch the interruption in full here: