Jo Swinson MP has condemned Gordon Brown’s decision to hold a new inquiry into the Iraq war in private and delay its report for a year or more.
The Liberal Democrats have long called for an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 and the way the war has been conducted since. After coming under intense pressure, the Prime Minister announced yesterday that a new inquiry will be held, but it will take place in private and it will not report back until after the next General Election.
The inquiry has been modelled on the Franks Inquiry which took placed after the Falklands War. This also took place in private and was widely perceived as a whitewash due to its lack of transparency.
Commenting, Jo Swinson said:
“Time and time again this Government has demonstrated its contempt for the British public by keeping secret information which citizens have a right to know. People are angry about the Government leading us into this war, and they want to know exactly how the decision was made and on what information. An inquiry held behind closed doors will not help to rebuild trust in government and it will not satisfy the families of the 179 British servicemen and women who have died in Iraq since 2003.”
“It is right that the inquiry should be comprehensive and so it may take some time, but the Government could publish interim reports to keep the public informed. Instead, by delaying the report until after the General Election, the Prime Minister is putting his own party’s concerns ahead of the public interest.”