John Major dismisses Blair's Iraq war reasoning Former PM condemns as 'inadequate' his successor's new assertion that Saddam had to go regardless of WMD David Batty and agencies guardian.co.uk, Saturday 2 January 2010 10.33 GMT John Major and Tony Blair at parliament in 1997. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA The former prime minister Sir John Major has condemned as "inadequate" his successor Tony Blair's justification for the Iraq war. Major criticised Blair's handling of the war and his presentation of the case for invasion in March 2003. He said the Chilcott inquiry into the Iraq war was raising serious questions about the justification for the invasion and whether the government knew at the time that Saddam Hussein no longer had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Major dismissed the argument recently put forward by Blair that the Iraqi dictator was a bad man and needed to be removed. Major said it now seemed there were doubts before the invasion about WMD in Iraq. "The suspicion arises that this was more about regime change than it was about weapons of mass destruction," he said. Major said he wanted to know whether the cabinet had known about those doubts before the decision to take military action. Doubts about the motivation for the war had done more damage to trust in the UK political system than the MPs' expenses scandal, he said. Major said he had reluctantly supported the invasion because at the time he believed Blair that Saddam's regime represented a threat because it had WMD. "I had myself been prime minister in the first Gulf war and I knew when I said something I was utterly certain that it was correct, and I said less than I knew," he said. "I assumed the same thing had happened and on that basis I supported reluctantly the second Iraq war." Major said that in the mid-1990s aides to Bill Clinton had raised the idea of regime change in Iraq with UK officials. Major's government responded that any attempt to remove Saddam had to be legal and viable. "There are many bad men around the world who run countries and we don't topple them, and indeed in earlier years we had actually supported Saddam Hussein when he was fighting against Iran," Major said. "The argument that someone is a bad man is an inadequate argument for war and certainly an inadequate and unacceptable argument for regime change." Last month Blair said he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of WMD and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public. In a TV interview he said he would still have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The Chilcot inquiry has seen a number of previously leaked Whitehall documents suggesting Blair was in favour of regime change. He is due to give evidence to the inquiry over the next few weeks.