These people are treating us like idiots

The family of a military policeman killed on duty in Iraq today strongly criticised Tony Blair and branded the Butler report “another whitewash”.

Simon Hamilton-Jewell was shot dead alongside his men as they defended an Iraqi police station from a mob of 400 last June.

Despite being offered the chance to escape, he stayed with his patrol to the end and was hailed a hero.

But today his brother, Tony, launched a fierce attack on the Government, saying the Military Police sergeant had died for “a lie”. Mr Hamilton-Jewell said: “I have downloaded the transcripts of the Butler report. It’s another whitewash. It’s all hedging and ifs and buts.”

Mr Hamilton-Jewell, 57, said he was disgusted that Lord Butler’s report did not single out anyone for blame. “Butler says no single person is directly responsible,” he said. “But, whether it’s Blair on the political side or [John] Scarlett on the intelligence side, someone has to be ultimately responsible. The arrogance of Blair is extraordinary – he won’t apologise.” He also criticised Lord Butler’s backing of Mr Scarlett in his new role as head of MI6.

“Butler turned round and said Scarlett is fundamentally in the wrong, but that he’s a good man for the job Blair’s promoted him to,” he said. “It’s hypocritical. Who do these people think they are? They are treating us like idiots.”

Sgt Hamilton-Jewell, 41, was a career soldier who joined the TA in 1979 before enlisting in the regular Army in 1988.

He died along with the five-strong patrol he was commanding when they became trapped in a police station in Majar al Kabir.

Despite overwhelming odds, he and his patrol kept the mob at bay for two hours – but the men were eventually overpowered and killed.

His brother said: “Saddam was absolutely no threat whatsoever, but 60 families have now been bereaved in what was an illegal war.”

The soldier’s mother, Teresa, 81, who lives in Surrey, said: “It’s floored me completely. I could just shoot Blair and Bush. The war should never have happened.”