One of Tony Blair's most senior civil servants has launched a savage attack on the former prime minister over the Iraq war.
Sir Ken Macdonald, who was director of public prosecutions for much of Mr Blair's premiership, accused the ex-PM of "sycophancy" towards Washington and using "alarming subterfuge" to mislead the British people into the conflict.
Referring to Mr Blair's weekend interview with former This Morning host Fern Britton in which he defended his role, the former prosecution chief wrote in The Times: "This was a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions."
Sir Ken said that the US seat of power "turned the ex-PM's head and he couldn't resist the stage or the glamour that it gave him."
He added: "It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war."
Mr Blair told Ms Britton that it still would have been right to have invaded Iraq even if it was known then that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, who was deputy chief whip at the time of the Iraq war, has admitted that Labour could have lost the crucial Commons vote on the invasion if it had been known that the aim was regime change.
Mr Blair is due to appear before the Chilcot inquiry behind closed doors in the new year.
Sir Ken said the questioning of the panel had so far been unchallenging.
He added: "If Chilcot fails to reveal the truth without fear in this Middle Eastern story of violence and destruction, the inquiry will be held in deserved and withering contempt."