A spokesman for Tony Blair said the prime minister opposes an inquiry into the Iraq war because “We have troops who are operating in the field of combat. We have an enemy who is looking for any sign of weakness at all, any sign of a loss of resolution or determination.” Sound like anyone you know?
Asked whether Mr Blair would accept an inquiry once British troops had left, he replied: “Given the way in which any such announcement would be treated, I think the question answers itself.”
The SNP-Plaid Cymru motion calls for a full review into the way the government’s responsibilities were discharged in relation to Iraq before military action and afterwards. It would be carried out by seven MPs who are also privy councillors and would sit in public. The Conservatives advocate bigger, private hearings with former military personnel. But they may split on the issue, and Labour MPs who opposed the war may fall into line tomorrow.
“People are very reluctant on opposition debates to ever vote against the government. The idea of giving the nationalists the satisfaction puts them off,” said one. Another, Graham Allen, said: “I will certainly be supporting the government tomorrow. We did our bit at the time [by opposing the invasion]; sadly, Conservatives as well as some of our colleagues backed George Bush’s timetable. Where we are now is a very different place.”