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Blair Protester Tells Of His Leveson Intrusion
An activist who stormed into the Leveson Inquiry and branded Tony Blair a war criminal while he was giving evidence has said it was too good an opportunity to miss.
David Lawley Wakelin managed to evade security and access the court room where the former prime minister was sitting through a secure corridor.
He was bundled out of the room and held in custody at a central London police station on suspicion for a breach of the peace.
The 49-year-old was later released without any further action.
Speaking to James O'Brien on LBC 97.3 afterwards, he said: "I stood in a bathroom for five minutes, recalculating what was going to happen to me after I got through the door but then decided that my beef with Tony Blair is too great to miss this opportunity.
"I got in and I said 'this man should be arrested for being a war criminal', and then I made a statement about my evidence to show that in my opinion he is a war criminal.
"Two guys grabbed me from behind and pretty much pulled me backwards out of the court the same way as I had come in... into a waiting police van.
"They didn't cuff me, they didn't arrest me, they didn't charge me or caution me. They took me away for a breach of the peace and asked me to stay away from the Leveson Inquiry," he added.
He appeared to catch security at the Royal Courts of Justice off guard and was able to hurl accusations at Mr Blair before he was bundled away.
As Mr Blair looked on, he said: "JP Morgan paid him off for the Iraq war. Three months after he invaded Iraq, they held up the Iraq bank for 20 billion.
"He was then paid six million dollars every year and still is from JP Morgan six months after he left office. This man is a war criminal."
Lord Justice Leveson immediately ordered an inquiry into the security breach.
Appearing slightly stunned, he said: "I'm sorry for that Mr Blair. I would like to find out how this gentleman managed to access the court through what is supposed to be a secure corridor.
"I will have an investigation undertaken about that immediately. I apologise."
Mr Blair added: "Can I just say on the record what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue. I have never had any discussion with them about that."
The protester was escorted through the Royal Courts of Justice by security guards and was seen being driven away in a police van.
It is understood he managed to get past security-coded doors to access the judges' corridor leading to courtroom 73.
A spokesman for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service said: "An investigation has been ordered into an incident at the Leveson Inquiry, Royal Courts of Justice. It would be inappropriate to pre-empt the findings of this investigation."
At the start of the afternoon session, Lord Leveson vowed to review security measures to guard against similar incidents.
"Considerable effort has been put into ensuring all witnesses can give their evidence in a safe and secure environment and I very much regret what has happened," he said.
"An investigation is being undertaken and I will be giving consideration to the steps that can be taken and should be taken against this particular intruder.
"Efforts will be redoubled to ensure that incidents of this nature don't recur. I repeat my apologies to Mr Blair and indeed to everyone else who was involved in or following our inquiry."
Later, a second man was arrested by police after eggs were thrown at Mr Blair's convoy as he left the court.