Tony Blair has been barracked as he expressed regret for the loss of life in the Iraq War.
The former prime minister told the official inquiry into the conflict that he regretted “deeply and profoundly” the deaths of British troops and Iraqi civilians.
Members of the audience watching him give evidence jeered at his comments, with one person shouting: “It’s too late.”
Mr Blair sparked anger among the families of the 179 UK personnel killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 when he insisted he had no regrets about the war at the end of his first appearance before the inquiry last year.
His voice cracking with emotion, he told the inquiry panel on Friday: “At the conclusion of the last hearing, you asked me whether I had any regrets. I took that as a question about the decision to go to war, and I answered that I took responsibility.
“That was taken as my meaning that I had no regrets about the loss of life and that was never my meaning or my intention.
“I wanted to make it clear that, of course, I regret deeply and profoundly the loss of life, whether from our own armed forces, those of other nations, the civilians who helped people in Iraq or the Iraqis themselves.”
As he expressed regret for the loss of life, the public gallery grew restless.
“Too late,” cried Rose Gentle, the mother of Fusilier Gordon Gentle, who died in Basra aged 19 in 2004. Others in the room echoed her cry. “You’ve had years,” shouted one.
Meanwhile, two women stood and turned their back as Mr Blair began his closing remarks. A few seconds into his comments, they walked out. Other relatives were openly crying in the public gallery.