TONY Blair is today facing the threat of legal action over his decision 13 years ago to take Britain into a disastrous war in Iraq.

The long-awaited Chilcot Inquiry report into the conflict delivered a damning verdict, setting out a catalogue of failures in the planning, conduct and aftermath of the 2003 invasion.

READ MORE: Chilcot: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair says he stands by Iraq war decision

The families of some of the 179 military personnel killed in Iraq branded the former prime minister a "terrorist" while anti-war protesters denounced him as a “war criminal”.

Jeremy Corbyn said Sir John’s long-awaited £10 million report made clear that the UK Parliament had been misled and that the invasion was "an act of military aggression based on a false pretext".

While the Labour leader did not mention Mr Blair by name during a two-hour Commons debate, he later apologised on behalf of his party for the former premier’s decision to go to war in Iraq, saying it was a "stain" on Labour and the country.

His colleague Paul Flynn, the newly-appointed shadow Commons leader, said: “There should be serious consideration of Tony Blair being prosecuted for this," but also noted how this was not down to one individual.

“Parliament is on trial. It wasn't just Tony Blair, it was most of the Labour backbenches, it was all the Tory backbenchers except[for] half a dozen...There were three select committees that were gung-ho for war; the leader of the opposition was gung-ho for war…This was a terrible decision."

Later at a press conference, the former PM insisted the inquiry's findings should "lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit".

He told journalists: “There were no lies, no deceit, no deception but there was a decision.”

READ MORE: Chilcot report: Military too slow to react to deadly reality of Iraq

Mr Blair said he accepted that the coalition of allies had planned for one set of ground facts but had encountered another and a nation, whose people it had wanted to “set free and secure from the evil Saddam, became instead victim to sectarian terrorism”.

His voice at times breaking with emotion, the former Labour leader expressed “more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe” for the mistakes made but maintained the decision to go to war to remove Saddam Hussein had been the right one.

Matthew Jury, the lawyer for the families of the fallen, raised the prospect of legal action, saying how a “full and forensic review” of the 2.6 million word report's content and conclusions would now be undertaken.

"If state officials are determined to have acted unlawfully or in excess of their powers, then the families will then decide on whether to take any necessary and appropriate action at the proper time. All options will be considered,” he said.

Rose Gentle from Glasgow, whose 19-year-old son, Gordon, a Royal Highland Fusilier, died when a bomb exploded under his Land Rover in Basra in June 2004, said the report meant Mr Blair had "got his comeuppance”.

Expressing satisfaction with its findings, she said: "I didn't think we were going to get that verdict today but I'm really pleased. I hope Tony Blair goes to his bed and thinks: 'What the hell have I done?' because he will never be forgiven.”

Ms Gentle added: "He will be remembered not as a prime minister but as a person who sent them on an illegal war. I would love to see him in court."

At Westminster, Alex Salmond seized on a remark made by Mr Blair in a memo to the then US President George W Bush eight months before the invasion, in which he said: “I will be with you whatever.”

The former First Minister said he did not understand, in light of that remark, how it was “in any way compatible with what was said to Parliament and people at the time”.

The Gordon MP added: "Is it not at the end of the day people who make decisions and, in our search for responsibility, wouldn't it help if individuals responsible were held accountable?"

READ MORE: Chilcot report: Former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell says inquiry clears him of 'sexing up' WMD dossier

Mr Salmond has already raised the prospect of possible legal action against Mr Blair in the Scottish courts while Jim Sillars, the former SNP deputy leader, called on Holyrood to "take the necessary legislative steps" to allow the former PM to be tried for war crimes.

Unveiling the inquiry’s report, Sir John said the war "went badly wrong with consequences to this day".

He made no judgement on whether or not the military action was legal but found that the then attorney general Lord Goldsmith's decision, that there was a legal basis for UK involvement in the US-led invasion, was taken in a way which was "far from satisfactory".

The key findings in the report, published seven years after the inquiry began, included:

*the case for war was presented with "a certainty which was not justified";

*it was based on "flawed" intelligence about the country's supposed weapons of mass destruction, which was not challenged as it should have been;

*the use of force to remove Saddam was undertaken at a time when he posed "no imminent threat" and in a way which undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council and

*planning for post-conflict Iraq was "wholly inadequate" with shortfalls in armoured vehicles to protect UK troops, which "should not have been tolerated".

Announcing a two-day Westminster debate on the report next week, David Cameron - who voted for war in 2003 - cautioned that the experience of Iraq should not prevent Britain from collaborating with its close ally the US in future military action.

The Prime Minister told MPs: "The decision to go to war came in this House. Members on all sides who voted for military action will have to take our fair share of the responsibility.

"We cannot turn the clock back but we can ensure that lessons are learned and acted on."