In a move to reshape the public view of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s new leader, is expected to apologize for Labour’s role in the Iraq War. The apology will come during his first party conference speech, insiders say.

Corbyn recently commented that former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair should stand trial on charges of war crimes if the evidence suggests he broke international law in 2003 over what Corbyn called the “illegal war.” Asked by the BBC whether Blair should be tried, Corbyn said: “If he has committed a war crime, yes. Everybody who has committed a war crime should be.”

Corbyn, a leading member of the Stop the War coalition and vociferous opponent of Blair’s decision to drag the U.K. into the Iraq War, is expected to say that Labour will “never make the same mistake again.”

From The Independent:

[Corbyn] will add that in future Britain’s role in international affairs needs to change to the promotion of conflict resolution and co-operation rather than using UK forces to achieve regime change.

An apology will delight Labour activists and be welcomed by some senior members of the parliamentary party who hope it will pre-empt criticisms of former ministers when the Chilcot inquiry finally reports later this year.

“We are urging him to make the apology in his speech. It would be surprising if he did not take the opportunity to do it on Tuesday,” said one Labour MP who supports Mr Corbyn.

But the move will cause disquiet among some in the centre of the party who fear it will reinforce public perceptions that Labour are “soft” on national security. That view is likely to be re-enforced if, as expected, the party decides to hold an emergency debate on whether Labour should support the renewal of Trident during the conference.

Mr Corbyn indicated that he would support a move to debate the issue and has long advocated unilaterally scrapping Britain independent nuclear deterrent.

He has suggested that scrapping Trident would become official policy if a resolution to that effect is passed.

Mr Corbyn indicated during his campaign for the leadership that he would make the symbolic apology for the invasion of Iraq should he win.

“It is past time that Labour apologised to the British people for taking them into the Iraq war on the basis of deception and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause,” he said.

Read more here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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