UK PM rejected 'Trump Iraq bomb ask' after legal advice

UK rejected Trump request to 'bomb Iraq' after seeking legal advice, former aide says
2 min read
28 May, 2021
The remarks came while Cummings was giving evidence on Wednesday to two select committees in the UK's lower house about the UK's Covid-19 response.
Boris Johnson reportedly turned down the US request after seeking legal advice [Getty]

British premier Boris Johnson was "persuaded" by the attorney general to deny a 2020 request from US President Donald Trump to bomb Iraq, the PM's former senior adviser said.

Former aide Dominic Cummings made the revelation while giving evidence on Wednesday to two select committees in the UK Parliament's lower house about Britain's Covid-19 response.

"In the morning of the 12th [March 2020], suddenly, the national security people came in and said Trump wants us to join a bombing campaign in the Middle East tonight," Cummings said.

According to The Guardian, on 11 March, an Iraq military base saw the deaths of a British military medic and two US nationals.

The US claimed Iran-linked Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group were responsible for the deadly rocket fire, though lawyer Jennifer Gibson from the NGO Reprieve claimed there was insufficient evidence of this.

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On a day Cummings claimed also saw vital Covid discussions and media concerns relating to the PM's fiancée, Carrie Symonds, attorney general Suella Braverman advised the premier to stay out of the airstrikes.

The role of the attorney general in such a case is to consider the legality of military action.

Cummings said: "Fortunately thank God, the attorney general persuaded the prime minister not to go ahead".

Defence sources who spoke to The Guardian said that the US proceeding with the airstrikes in any event meant there had not been any reason for Britain to get involved.

Cummings left his post at the end of last year following claims in the media of a fall out with the prime minister and his partner.