Lib Dem Norman Baker MP has won time for a House of Commons debate, calling for the immediate publication of the official Inquiry report into the Iraq War by Sir John Chilcott, about how the Government behaved at the time. The debate, jointly secured with Tory David Davis and Labour Fabian Hamilton, will take place on January 29th. Four hours has been allocated.
The inquiry was established before the last General Election, some six years ago and Norman says that is long enough.
Norman says “I firmly believe that the people of this country are entitled to see this report before they go to the polls in May, yet there are no signs this will happen.
That’s why I have joined with David Davis and Fabian Hamilton to secure a debate on the matter in the House of Commons, thus ensuring that the calls for release are supported by Lib Dem, Tory and Labour MPs. The debate, in which I will speaking, will take place on January 29th.
“Why is this so important? Because, as I set out in my book The Strange Death of David Kelly, the period 2002/3 was a time when the normal conventions of government were set aside. A time when we had Tony Blair’s special advisor Alistair Campbell, amending intelligence reports which then turned into “dodgy dossiers”, hyping up fears about non-existent weapons of mass destruction. A time when unminuted sofa government replaced the proper civil service procedures. A time when the cabinet was bypassed. A time when Parliament was gravely misled about the threat the country faced, or didn’t face, as it turned out.
“As well as seeing the final report, we are also entitled to know why it has taken so long to produce, who is blocking release, and why.
The lessons of 2002/3 are not merely an historical matter. They go to the heart of how our country operates. We need to ensure there are safeguards in place to ensure what happened then can never happen again.”