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MPs FROM SEVEN PARTIES CALL FOR BLAIR TO BE HELD TO ACCOUNT OVER “DELIBERATE DECEPTION” ON IRAQ

MPS UNITE BEHIND MOTION ON CHILCOT INQUIRY AND RELEASE NEW REPORT DEMONSTRATING THE EXTENT OF BLAIR'S DECEPTION ON IRAQ

Seven of the main political parties in Westminster are backing the motion calling for former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “calculated and deliberate deception” of Parliament and people to finally be held to account.

Alex Salmond MP, who is leading the motion for the SNP, also released a report from distinguished Cambridge academic Dr Glen Rangwala, which details the contrast between Blair's public statements to Parliament and people with the private correspondence to American President George W. Bush.

The motion reads:

"This House recognises that the Chilcot Inquiry provided substantial evidence of misleading information being presented by the then Prime Minister and others on the development of the then Government's policy towards the invasion of Iraq and that this was shown most clearly in the contrast between private correspondence to the United States Government and public statements to Parliament and people and also in the presentation of intelligence information; calls on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the House, further to its current investigation into the lessons to be learned from Chilcot on the machinery of Government, to conduct a further specific examination of this contrast in public and private policy and of the presentation of intelligence and to then report to the House on what further action they consider necessary and appropriate to help prevent any repetition of this disastrous series of events."    

The motion is backed by MPs from across the House of Commons including Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and the SDLP. 

The debate follows on from a report by a leading academic Dr Rangwala on “the deliberate deception of Parliament” who analysed different aspects in the build up to the invasion including – the decision to use military force, regime change in Iraq, evidence of weapons of mass destruction and the exhaustion of diplomacy. 
 
The report concluded that following Blair's repeated statements to Parliament that no decision had been taken to use military force against Iraq, that military action could be avoided by Iraq’s disarmament and that regime change was not the goal of government policy; that these statements were then negated by Blair’s private note to President Bush that bluntly stated “I will be with you whatever”.

Alex Salmond MP, the SNP’s International Affairs spokesperson, said:

"MPs from parties from across the House of Commons have put their political differences aside in a stand to call for Parliament to investigate the extent to which this House was held in such blatant contempt.
"Blair’s premeditated and calculated commitment to Bush that 'I will be with you whatever' will forever ring loud for the millions who marched against the war, to the families of dead soldiers and to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s who lost their lives, due to an illegal invasion based on deception and deceit.
“At a time when Blair is planning his political comeback, it is high time that this Parliament and its Committees at long last brought this dark stain on UK foreign policy to a close by investigating how such grave misleading occurred and taking the appropriate action to avoid it happening again.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

Among the signatures of the motion are:

ALEX SALMOND
SIR DAVID AMESS
KATE HOEY
HYWEL WILLIAMS
CAROLINE LUCAS    

TASMINA AHMED-SHEIKH
JOANNA CHERRY
SIR ROGER GALE
CHRIS STEPHENS
LIZ SAVILLE-ROBERTS

“The deliberate deception of Parliament” report is available by clicking here.

SNP Westminster Press Office – 0207 219 0341