Tim Farron writes
The publication of the Chilcot Inquiry today will finally expose one of the most shameful moments in our nation’s history.
It is likely that the report will confirm Tony Blair and his Labour government wilfully misled Parliament and the British people on the imminence of the threat from Saddam Hussein and his possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
That deceit led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 which cost the lives of around 100,000 Iraqis and almost 5,000 coalition forces, including 179 members of the British Armed Forces. With no plan for what would happen next, Blair and President Bush left a power vacuum that enabled the rise of Daesh and caused many more years of bloodshed and instability in the Middle East.
The findings published today will be a vindication for the Liberal Democrats and for everyone else who fought against this illegal war. In particular, Charles Kennedy’s leadership of our party at that time provided a voice for millions of British people who knew that this was the wrong thing to do, as this video shows:
Today the Liberal Democrats are calling for the current British government to pledge that we will never go to war again without an assurance that the action is legal under international law, that we have a clear exit plan, and that the intelligence on which we base our decisions is free from the influence of political spin doctors.
The War in Iraq eroded the public’s trust in politics, damaged Britain’s moral authority on the global stage, and made our country and world less safe. This must never, ever happen again.
Tim Farron MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
And watch the late great Charles Kennedy leading the charge against Tony Blair’s war:-
This is approaching a national scandal. We Lib Dems opposed the illegal war which Tories and Labour backed. Goodness knows how many thousands of people lost their lives via this Bush/Blair venture.
Coincidentally the Lib Dem group on Sefton Council had already put down the motion below for debate at tomorrow’s Sefton Council meeting before today’s kick into the long grass was announced.
Motion Submitted by Councillor Dawson
“This Council notes:
(i) the loyalty bravery and professionalism with which
troops recruited in the North West of England,
including the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton,
conducted themselves during the invasion and
occupation of Iraq.
(ii) widespread concern that the decision to embark upon
the Iraq invasion was made based upon false
premises and untrue propaganda fed to the British
people by representatives of the Government of the
(iii) that the Chilcot Inquiry into the events which led the
United Kingdom to embark upon the the invasion and
occupation of Iraq, is complete and has been shared,
months ago, with former Prime Ministers.
(iv) that the publication of the Chilcot report has
been delayed for many months, without excuse, which
is leading to widespread and profound belief by
ordinary members of the public that those who
supported that war on false premises are covering up
The Council resolves to write to the Prime Minister,
expressing concern at the continuing delays in publication
and calling for an immediate publication of the Chilcot
The May General Election is the time when the public have their chance to hold politicians to account and the Chilcot Report may well lead to some holding to account being required. How convenient then that such holding to account will be on hold for another 5 years when memories have faded even more. I am appalled.