Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cross-party support for war probe


12/27/05 "
BBC" -- -- More than 100 MPs from across the Commons have backed a call for an inquiry by senior MPs into the handling of the Iraq war and its aftermath.

SNP leader Alex Salmond says 107 have signed a Commons motion calling for a special committee of seven senior MPs to review the decision-making process.

The MPs include 49 Lib Dems, 26 Conservatives and 20 from Labour.

Ex-Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke and Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell are among those who have signed.

The motion was tabled by former Tory Foreign Office Minister Douglas Hogg.

There have been four separate inquiries into different aspects of the Iraq war, including the Butler report into intelligence failings and the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly.

But there has yet to be an inquiry focusing on the way the government's decision to join a US-led invasion was made.

The MPs' motion calls for the setting-up of a special select committee to carry out this task.

The seven strong committee would be members of the Privy Council and therefore able to look at sensitive intelligence material.

Mr Salmond said it would be able to make a detailed inquiry into the prime minister's decisions, "not a sham like we have had to endure with the Butler and Hutton inquiries".

'Misled Parliament'

Support for the motion "shows just how angry people are over Blair's decision to go to war and the way in which it was made", he added.

"Members believe he misled Parliament and the people he was elected to represent."

The motion is headed: "Conduct of Government policy in relation to the war against Iraq."

It reads: "This House believes there should be a select committee of seven Members, being Members of Her Majesty's Privy Council, 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 in its aftermath."


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