John Baron MP presses Foreign Secretary to admit Iraq invasion was a mistake to ‘heal wounds’

July 7, 2016

MP says refusal does not bode well for the future

The Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, presented its report yesterday. Amongst its key findings was that peaceful options to disarm Iraq were not expended by March 2003, and that military action at that time was therefore precipitate. It also found that there were grave failures of intelligence and assessment as regards Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. As is now a matter of public record, Iraq did not have such weapons at the time of the invasion.

This morning the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, appeared before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, of which John Baron MP has been a member since 2010.

John asked,

“One of the key conclusions of the Chilcot Report is that the UK did not explore all other possible options before committing to war. Given that war should always be the measure of last resort, has not the time now come for the British Government to acknowledge our mistake?”

The Foreign Secretary said that the Iraq Inquiry identified a number of flawed processes and that it concluded there was no intentional deception, but did not admit that the invasion was a mistake.

John continued,

“Whether the Prime Minister intentionally deceived Parliament and the nation is for others to decide, but mistakes were made regardless. Admitting our error would help heal the wounds, and perhaps help to restore our international reputation following this disastrous intervention. A refusal does not bode well for the future.”

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