For immediate release: Wednesday 30th November 2016
Attention: Newsdesks/Political Correspondents
ALEX SALMOND CONDEMNS PARLIAMENT FOR FAILING ON ACCOUNTABILITY FOR “GRIEVOUS” MISLEADING ON IRAQ
SNP CRITICISE TORY AND LABOUR FRONTBENCHES FOR FAILING TO LEARN ANY LESSONS FROM CHILCOT
Alex Salmond MP has today condemned the Tory and Labour front-benches who voted against a cross-party motion that called for Parliamentary processes to be put in place to ensure that future Prime Ministers will have to “account for their actions, not just to history, but to this House of Commons.”
The motion, debated today in the Chamber, was backed by individual MPs from seven of the main political parties. However, the motion which called for the former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “calculated and deliberate deception” of Parliament and people to finally be held to account, was opposed by the front-benches of the Tory and Labour Party.
The debate brought forward by the Alex Salmond MP was backed by MPs from Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and the SDLP. However, the motion was rejected with 439 MPs voting against and 70 MPs in favour.
Mr Salmond criticised the frontbench MPs who voted against the motion that would bring "check and balance" to a system that allows the avoidance of blame and accountability.
Alex Salmond, the SNP’s International spokesperson, said:
“There are 179 members left in the House of Commons today who were present when the fateful debate took place in March 2003 on the war in Iraq. I remember that figure exactly because that is exactly the same number of British soldiers who died in the conflict.
“What Iraq demonstrates is a deficient system and enquiry that is structured in such a way as to avoid blame, deprive it of judicial expertise so that it cannot even pronounce on the legality of the conflict, allow it seven years before it reports and after all this passage of time say that these things are all in the past - let the dead bury the dead. Well, to this day, the dead continue to be buried and we still have no accountability.
“This motion was an opportunity to introduce another check and balance into the system. A process by which a Prime Minister who grievously misled this House and the people into an illegal war can finally be held to Parliamentary account. And one that would create a precedent where any future Prime Minister will know that he or she will have to account for their actions, not just to history, but to this House of Commons.
"This vote demonstrates that those who voted against this cross-party motion have failed to learn any lessons from history and from the Chilcot report. It is like deja vu, it was the Tory and Labour front-benches that took us into the illegal war and it is the Tory and Labour front-benches again who have failed to hold the former Prime Minister to account."
Notes to editors
“The deliberate deception of Parliament” report available by clicking here.
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