​Thatcher govt didn’t oppose Saddam’s chemical weapons program, declassified papers show

As Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was building up its chemical weapons arsenal with the help of a British firm, Margaret Thatcher’s government decided not to oppose it, fearing that otherwise it would be subjected to criticism.

In 1983, the British government learned about Saddam’s effort to produce mustard gas, but chose not to hamper it, partially because a British firm was involved, according to previously classified Foreign Office documents released this week to the National Archives in Kew, west London.

Britain’s public image was also on the line when the decision was taken, because of Weir Pumps’ involvement and a wider record.

(would that be all the child abuse scandals ? Leon Brittan Home Secretary 1983?)