Tag Archives: chilcot inquiry

Lord Hugh Dykes writes: Chilcot delay is an utter disgrace

We have waited too long for the Chilcot Inquiry. I do not have to tell you this, the Lib Dems were after all the only one of the three major parties (despite the Tories fuss now) to disagree with going to war in Iraq.

I am proud to say that it was the Liberal Democrat party who marched officially as a party to protest against the war. The estimated 1.5 million marchers going along Piccadilly were subsequently all disappointed that the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, completely ignored their representations on the biggest march that had taken place in Britain in recent times.

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Farron: Publish Chilcot Report within a week

On Thursday, Tim Farron, writing for this site, said that Liberal Democrats must continue to push for the Chilcot Report to be published.

In the same way, we must push for the UK’s Chilcot report into the Iraq war to be published. The delay has gone on long enough – key actors like Tony Blair and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw must be held to account. Jack Straw steps down as an MP in May – it is vital that the truth about Iraq comes out long before that!

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The Independent View: What the Chilcott Inquiry has missed – the role of oil in the Iraq war

While change sweeps the Middle East and fighting escalates in Libya, the Chilcott Inquiry continues to consider the lessons of the Iraq war. The Inquiry has taught us more about the timing, process and legality of key decisions, but the elephant in the room remains the role oil played in those decisions.

“The oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it,” said Tony Blair in February 2003. His protestations were sufficiently effective that in media and parliamentary debates, raising the oil issue became a sure-fire route to losing credibility. And so Chilcott, who …

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Was the Iraq war illegal?

STV reports:

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says that the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War has provided enough information to suggest that the war was illegal.

Speaking on Radio Tay on Friday morning at the same time Prime Minister Gordon Brown was facing questions at the inquiry in London, he said: “I’m not a lawyer, but my view is that now there is sufficient evidence to sustain the claim that this was illegal.”

“A Dutch inquiry into the Iraq war came to the conclusion that it was indeed illegal, and flew in the face of international law…

“It is not a court of

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Lester QC vs Goldsmith QC: Lib Dem peer says “He didn’t give the correct legal view”

Channel 4 News asked top lawyer and Lib Dem peer Lord Lester for his view on former Labour attorney general Lord Goldsmith’s evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the war against Iraq. You can see the eight-minute video below, together with C4’s news report:

Lord Lester QC, a leading human rights lawyer and expert in international law, believes Lord Goldsmith failed in his responsibilities on Iraq. “He didn’t give the correct legal view,” says the Lib Dem peer.

As Britain went to war in March 2003, 16 out of

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Clegg on suppressed Iraq documents: “this has all the hallmarks of a cover up”

Sir John Chilcot, who is chairing the inquiry into the Iraq war, today expressed publicly his “frustration” that the Government has refused to declassify certain information. The BBC reports:

The Lib Dems have accused the government of trying to “gag” the inquiry by refusing to publish them.

The documents include letters between Mr Blair and President Bush. The Cabinet Office said no documents had been withheld from the inquiry but some needed legal clearance before they could be released to the public.

Nick Clegg has called – once again – for those documents requested by the Chilcot inquiry to be published, and …

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LibLink … Norman Baker: Hutton was farcical, feeble and amateurish… so we MUST be told the truth next week

Over at the Mail, Lib Dem MP Norman Baker writes about the imminent appearance of Tony Blair in front of the Chilcot Inquiry into the war in Iraq – and makes a plea for the Hutton Inquiry’s inadequate questioning of how government scientist and former UN weapons inspector Dr David Kelly really died. Here’s an excerpt:

… the fact that we, the British people, have had to wait seven long years for justice is a disgrace, and much of the blame can be firmly laid at the door of one man: Lord Brian Hutton. … when Lord Hutton finally reported in

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Brown to face Iraq inquiry soon thanks to Clegg pressure

It’s nine days since Nick Clegg challenged Gordon Brown to volunteer to appear before Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the Iraq war this side of the general election “before people decide how to vote on his record in government?” And now it seems that Nick’s pressure has paid off – the BBC reports:

Gordon Brown will give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry before the general election, the BBC understands.

Mr Brown, who has said he is “happy” to face the inquiry whenever called, had been under pressure to do so before the election, which must be held by June.

The inquiry’s chairman is expected to confirm later that the PM will be asked to appear but will not set a date. However, the BBC understands he will appear in late February or early March.

You can re-live the exchange between Nick and Mr Brown, either on video courtesy the BBC or via the Hansard transcript, here on LDV.

Nick has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to face the Chilcot Inquiry:

It is well known that the Prime Minister was a key figure in Britain’s decision to invade Iraq. It is only right that Gordon Brown should explain his role in this disastrous foreign policy failure before asking the British people for their vote.”

This is an excellent result for Nick. Good in its own right: the Prime Minister should be asked about his role in the invasion of Iraq. And good for Nick’s growing stature as leader: once again, as over the Gurkhas and Michael Martin, it is Nick who is making the running, and punching above his weight at Prime Minister’s Questions.

This in stark contrast to David Cameron, whose string of lacklustre Commons’ performances are beginning to be noticed even by his friends at The Spectator. Here’s how the magazine’s Coffee House blog compared the performances of Nick and the Tory leader at this week’s PMQs:

The LibDem leader took a pop at Labour with a very smart weapon. He wondered why the government hadn’t acted to stop RBS lending tax-payers’ money to Kraft which is about to sack Cadburys staff. That’s three bogymen in one. … hate him because they can see he’s capable, plucky and politically shrewd. The house has strange ways of honouring talent. …

Cameron risks turning into the Rafa Benitez of Westminster. He’s living on a reputation which is rapidly fading from memory.

Posted in Parliament and PMQs | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 18 January 2010

Happy Monday morning, everyone.

On this day, in 1788, Britain established a penal settlement at Botany Bay in Australia; while, in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt sent the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States to King Edward VII. Even more excitingly, it’s the birthday of AA Milne (b. 1882), Oliver ‘Laurel &’ Hardy (b. 1892), Cary Grant (b. 1904) and Peter Beardsley (b. 1961).

But without further tarrying …

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Holyrood: The Budget Battleground (Caron Lindsay)

    The first act of the budget drama plays out this week. Let’s hope that the process is more serious production and less pantomime farce.

  • A couple of classy links (Alix Mortimer)

    I once saw a blogger, a smart, impassioned, left-wing blogger, comment to the effect that his £40,000-odd salary was not that high.

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PMQs: Clegg to Brown on Chilcot Inquiry – “What have you got to hide?”

Missed PMQs? Here’s the catch-up …

Nick Clegg pressed Gordon Brown to volunteer to appear before Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the Iraq war this side of the general election “before people decide how to vote on his record in government?” The Prime Minister replied that it wasn’t a matter for him. (Odd how when you become the most powerful person in Britain, you seem to lose the power to volunteer to do something inconvenient).

So Nick asked again, telling the Prime Minister he “should insist on going to the inquiry now”, and asking “What has he got to hide?” Again Mr Brown said, “Sorry, guv, more than my job’s worth” (or words to that effect).

Nick still wasn’t happy, so has now written to the Prime Minister, chalenging him to do the decent thing:

Dear Gordon,

I am writing to urge you to indicate immediately to Sir John Chilcot that it is your strong preference to go before the Iraq Inquiry ahead of the General Election.

Following developments yesterday at Alastair Campbell’s hearing, your personal role in the decisions that led to the war in Iraq has now come under the spotlight. The notion that your hearing should take place after the election in order that the Inquiry remains outside of party politics therefore no longer holds. On the contrary, the sense that you have been granted special treatment because of your position as Prime Minister will only serve to undermine the perceived independence of the Committee.

As I said to you across the floor of the Commons today, people have a right to know the truth about the part you played in this war before they cast their verdict o n your Government’s record. I urge you to confirm publicly that should Sir John Chilcot invite you to give evidence to the Inquiry ahead of the election you will agree to do so.

Nick Clegg

Well, I don’t suppose Mr Brown will change his mind – but Nick has at least exposed the Prime Minister’s relief-cum-satisfaction that he can dodge the Chilcot bullet, dominating the main political headlines as a result. And by the time Mr Brown does eventually appear he will be a genuinely powerless ex-Prime Minister so who’ll care what he has to say any longer?

Meanwhile David Cameron asked some windy, unfocused and instantly forgettable questions of the Prime Minister who gave at least as good as he got. Score-draw for theatrics; no-score draw for content.

Here’s Nick’s questions, courtesy the BBC. The Hansard transcript’s below it.

Posted in PMQs | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Daily View 2×2: 5 January 2010

With the thought that there are only 353 days to Christmas and considerably fewer until the General Election, we launch into today’s Daily View.

On this day in 1918, the Free Committee for a German Workers Peace, which would become the Nazi party, was founded. In 1941, the aviator Amy Johnson, disappeared over the Thames Estuary and was never found. And 28 years ago today, Peter Sutcliffe, a 35-year-old lorry driver from Bradford appeared in court, charged with 13 murders of women in West Yorkshire.

Happy birthday to the second most famous son of Abbots Langley, footballer, actor and current Celebrity Big Brother ‘inmate’ Vinnie Jones, who is 45 today and to former US Vice President Walter F. Mondale, who is 82.

2 Interesting Stories

With the thought that some of you may have already noticed other parties’ pronouncements in the news yesterday, here are two more slants on the coming election.

 We’re being outgunned by slick Tory machine, says Labour’s Andrew Slaughter

The Labour MP for Hammersnith believes that his chances of re-election are being hampered by a lack of funding compared to his Conservative opponent. Slaughter said;

“People should be concerned that money is being poured into seats like this and the consequences of that for democracy,”

Funny how Labour never saw this as a problem when they were the ones bringing in large donations?

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Telegraph: Dr David Kelly – doctors start legal action for new inquest

Two years ago, Lib Dem MP Norman Baker, in an article published here on Lib Dem Voice, asserted that the questions arising from the death of UN weapons inspector David Kelly – the BBC’s source for the allegations that the Government ‘sexed-up’ its WMD dossier in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq – would not go away because

… the conclusion that the government weapons inspector took his own life cannot be supported by the facts. … The key question was this: why was Dr Kelly’s such a strange death? Nobody would commit suicide that way, but nor can

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 26 November 2009

Good morning, and Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. 26th November is also the anniversary of the opening of the terrifying Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Today also sees a significant birthday for Tina Turner and a rather less significant one for Hilary Benn.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator. I’ve taken two environmental picks today:

  • Why are Reading’s Christmas lights on during the day?
  • Do these lights have to be blazing all day? This simply does not make finanical or environmental sense. Christmas lights in the Town Centre are very visible. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas lights. But what message does leaving them on all day send out about environmental responsibility?

    (Cllr Daisy Benson)

  • ‘Consultation’ Who are you kidding National Grid?
  • The beauty of an underground superconductor cable system would be that it would not only remain hidden, but the transmission of power from future expansion of energy in the South West (from renewable resources such as the Severn and new as yet to be built wind farms and tidal stream generators)
    could with ease be accommodated in a super conducting cable. Super
    conducting cables are also massively more efficient with losses of just 3%
    compared to around 30% in the current national grid, something that is of
    massive importance when we think of global warming and the need to conserve
    and use energy wisely.

    (Brian Matthew)

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