John Baron MP asks Prime Minister to admit war was a mistake

July 6, 2016

MP expresses disappointment at Prime Minister’s response

Today the Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, published its report. One of the principal findings is that the peaceful options for Iraq’s disarmament were not exhausted at the time of the invasion in March 2003, and therefore that military action was consequently not the measure of last resort. The UK intelligence apparatus also comes under strong criticism for providing flawed information, for allowing its information about Iraq’s weapons programmes to be overstated by the Government, and for not challenging these abuses before the invasion.

John Baron MP resigned from the Shadow Front Bench in 2003 in order to vote against the war, as he did not believe all non-military options had been pursued, and because he did not accept the Government’s assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. He subsequently also opposed British interventions in Helmand Province, Libya, Iraq and Syria.

The Prime Minister gave a Statement in the House of Commons following the report’s publication. In the Chamber, John said,

“In the hope that all accept war should always be the measure of last resort once other possible options have been exhausted, will the Prime Minister do something no British Government has done since 2003, and that is finally and unequivocally admit our intervention in Iraq was wrong and a mistake?”

The Prime Minister said in response that we should all read the report and come to our own conclusions.

John said afterwards,

“I find it depressing that our Government, despite the Chilcot Report, still does not admit the Iraq War was a mistake. This authoritative report endorses the view many of us held at the time that we should not have gone to war. Other options were still open to us. The issue for many now remains whether there was intentional deception.”

“The ramifications of the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez have been legion. Following our intervention, Iraq became a honey-pot for extremists, including al-Qaeda, whilst a vicious civil war ensued and hundreds of thousands suffered, including minorities. As suggested by the former Head of MI5, it radicalised parts of the Muslim world against us and increased the terrorist threat. It also set a dangerous precedent in suggesting the ‘law of the jungle’ could be pursued, regardless of international opinion. We are still living with many of these consequences today.”

John Baron will not post replies to any comments - to contact John please Click here or alternatively for a full list of contact details Click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *