We will pay the price of Iraq for years to come – Carmichael

Commenting on the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, said:

“The long awaited publication of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War should be the last chapter in a sorry episode of our country’s history. It vindicates the decision in 2003 by the Liberal Democrats, then led by Charles Kennedy, to vote against it. That was not an easy decision but I have never doubted that it was the right one.

“It has long been clear that this was a war into which we should never had entered and which has had enduring consequences for the Middle East and the west. As a result of that war we are less safe today than we have ever been. This was unnecessary. Parliament and government both failed the people and we shall pay the price for years to come. In the future it is essential that Parliament should have a proper understanding of intelligence material before it votes and every MP will have a duty to assess that evidence fairly and calmly before deciding how to vote.” 

Speaking earlier in the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael asked the Prime Minister:

“Like the Prime Minister, I remember the debates of February and March 2003. We were both elected for the first time in 2001. What I remember is that many of the members then who asked questions and demanded evidence were heckled and barracked and shouted down. And I think when we have our debate on this report, it is right that, as well as scrutinising the conduct of others, this house should turn some of that scrutiny on itself. We now know that much of what purported to be evidence in 2003 was obtained by people who had been tortured having been illegally rendered. Will the Prime Minister give me an assurance that this country will never again base its foreign policy judgements on evidence or information obtained in that way?”

Prime Minister, David Cameron:

“I can certainly give him that assurance. That is something specifically addressed during the coalition government that we should not rely on or use in any way evidence that was delivered by means of torture.” 

ENDS