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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blair's Aide Admits to Error in Evidence Against Hussein

LONDON -- A top aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised the British secret service to take much more care in presenting intelligence material to the public after a row over a dossier on Iraq's weapons, his office said on Sunday.

A spokesman for Blair's Downing Street office said the document -- dubbed the "dodgy dossier" by British media -- had failed to make clear the source of some information used to back the case for war on Iraq.

The spokesman denied that Blair's communications chief, Alastair Campbell, had apologized for embarrassing the security service by "sexing up" the February dossier.

But the admission that Campbell had written to Sir Richard Dearlove, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, was likely to fuel the case of Blair's opponents.

Sparks first flew when it was discovered that chunks of the report -- "Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation" -- had come from a student's 2002 thesis, which itself leaned heavily on documents more than a decade old.

It has returned to haunt Blair again in recent weeks as pressure mounts for him to show evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that he said justified war. Weeks after war finished, none have been found.

The spokesman said there was "an error of omission in the dossier, where we should have made the attribution clearer -- those elements which came from intelligence sources and those elements which came from publicly available sources."

Cynicism was stoked last month by a BBC report alleging that Blair's office pressured the security services to assert that Saddam could launch weapons within 45 minutes. Downing Street has denied the allegation.