Jo slams ‘cynical’ Tories over Iraq inquiry

The Lib Dems are demanding an apology from David Cameron’s Conservatives for their support for the Iraq war

Jo Swinson has slammed Tory MPs who are calling for an inquiry into the Iraq war.

The Conservatives will today hold a Parliamentary debate calling for an inquiry into the invasion of Iraq. 146 Conservative MPs voted with the Government in 2003 to allow the invasion to go ahead.

Jo said:

“Five years ago, the Labour Government led Britain into the war in Iraq. The Conservatives were the cheerleaders for military action. And MPs from both parties attacked the Liberal Democrats for our opposition to the invasion. I, along with many others from East Dunbartonshire, joined the anti-war march in Glasgow on 15th February 2003.

“Today, 175 British troops and up to 600,000 Iraqis have lost their lives, and £7 billion of our money has been spent on this appalling venture. It is now clear that the war in Iraq has been one of the worst foreign policy decisions taken by Britain in living memory.

“This was a war that we were told was meant to make the world safer. We were told it was to get rid of weapons of mass destruction, weapons which turned out not to exist. We were told this was a war to end terrorism, but the threat from terrorism has actually increased.

“The Conservatives simply have no legitimacy in this debate – their call for an inquiry is breathtakingly cynical. The first thing they should do is say sorry for propping up the Labour Party as it pushed us into this catastrophic war.

“The Liberal Democrats have been clear for some time that we need a full inquiry into the origins and conduct of the Iraq war. Most importantly, we need to set a timetable for the full withdrawal of the remaining UK troops from Iraq.”

A new website has been set up by the Liberal Democrats to allow constituents to see how their MP voted on the invasion of Iraq. Jo Swinson was elected in May 2005, and so did not take part in the vote.

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