Debate on need for inquiry into Iraq conflict

26 March 2009

House of Commons debates Opposition motion and Government amendment on the need for an inquiry into the war in Iraq

Opposition motion:

Mr David Cameron, Mr William Hague, Dr Liam Fox, Mr David Lidington, Mr Keith Simpson, Mr Patrick McLoughlin

That this House welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of 18 December 2008 that a fundamental change in the British forces’ mission in Iraq will occur by 31 May 2009 at the latest and that at that point the rapid withdrawal of the British troops will take place, taking the total from just under 4,100 to under 400 by 31 July 2009; notes that following this announcement there remains no reasonable impediment to announcing an inquiry on the war in Iraq; and calls for such an inquiry to be conducted by an independent committee of privy councillors, and to review the way in which the responsibilities of Government were discharged in relation to Iraq, and all matters relevant thereto, in the period leading up to military action in that country in March 2003 and its aftermath, and to make recommendations on lessons to be drawn for the future

Government amendment:

The Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary Jack Straw, Secretary David Miliband, Secretary Jacqui Smith, Mr Secretary Hutton, Ms Harriet Harman, Vera Baird

(b) Line 1, leave out from ‘House’ to end and add ‘notes the Resolutions of this House of 31 October 2006, 11 June 2007 and 25 March 2008 on an Iraq inquiry; recognises the heroic efforts of the British armed forces in Iraq who have a continuing role which this House should be careful not to undermine; further recognises that a time will come when an inquiry is appropriate, but declines to make a proposal for a further inquiry at this time, whilst important operations are underway in Iraq to support the people and government of Iraq.’.

Image: PA Photos

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