Don Foster MP*
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03/07/2023

Foster on Iraq Investigations
Bath's MP, Don Foster, has written to Bath's Liberal Democrat Party Executive Members to provide an update on the Parliamentary investigations into the Government's handling of events in the run up to war.

Main ImageDon wrote:

"There are serious concerns about the way information from the intelligence services was conveyed to MPs, and upon which Parliament voted to support military action against Iraq.

"The fog of media speculation over the so-called 'dodgy dossier' is obscuring key questions about Britain's decision to go to war."

As you know, I, along with my Liberal Democrat collegues, was sceptical about military action, and recent developments suggest we were right to be so.

A copy of the letter follows.

ENDS

Don Foster MP,
31 James Street West,
Bath,
BA1 2BT

Thursday, 03 July 2023

To Bath Liberal Democrat Executive Members

Dear Friend,

I felt you would appreciate an update of our position on Parliament's investigations into the Government's handling of events leading up to the war in Iraq.

The past fortnight has seen a steady stream of Government Ministers, past and present, give evidence to the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Select Committee about the reasons for Britain's military involvement in Iraq. There are serious concerns about the way information from the intelligence services was conveyed to MPs, and upon which Parliament voted to support military action against Iraq.

As you know, I, along with my Liberal Democrat collegues, was sceptical about military action, and recent developments suggest we were right to be so.

The questions that the Government has ducked are far more important than the unedifying squabble between Alistair Campbell and the BBC. The fog of media speculation over the so-called 'dodgy dossier' is obscuring key questions about Britain's decision to go to war.

Did the basis on which Britain went to war meet the requirements of the United Nations Charter; in short did Iraq pose an urgent and imminent threat to the US and Britain?

Was there any truth in the assertion that Saddam Hussein could use chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes? If so, why were no weapons used, and why have none been found?

When did the Prime Minister agree to join the US in the invasion of Iraq? Was the decision made in autumn 2002 as some have suggested? The British people deserve to know exactly when that decision was made, and whether the diplomacy at the United Nations was designed to avert war or to bring it about.

Did the intelligence drive policy, or was it the policy that demanded intelligence in order to justify it? Hans Blix and his inspectors got less support from some members of the Security Council than they should have. How much co-operation did the UN weapons inspectors receive from the British and US governments?

What plans were made before the invasion to deal with Iraq after the war? Recent events suggests that there was no proper planning at all

The answers to the questions will not be provided by the Foreign Affairs Committee, or by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, both of which are conducting their own inquiries. We must know on what basis the decision to go to war was made

We must now have an independent inquiry, chaired by a senior judge, to investigate the whole course of events that led to the UK's involvement in Iraq, and the basis upon which the Prime Minister, and ultimately the House of Commons, made the decision to support military action."

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

DON FOSTER MP

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

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