Alan Johnson – 2016 Speech on the Chilcot Inquiry

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Below is the text of the speech made by Alan Johnson, the Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, in the House of Commons on 6 July 2016.

The epitaph on Robin Cook’s headstone in the Grange cemetery in Edinburgh reads as follows:

“I may not have succeeded in halting the war, but I did secure the right of Parliament to decide on war.”

The Prime Minister is right in saying that, in these circumstances, Parliament cannot be involved in the decision and then simply try to duck responsibility for the ramifications of that decision. Does he agree that the main element in the debate in which Parliament decided, on 13 March 2003, was not the 45-minute claim, which was not mentioned anywhere in those hours of debate, but the fact that Saddam Hussein and his murderous sons had spent 13 years running rings around the United Nations, ignoring 17 UN resolutions, including resolutions calling for all necessary means to stop him? Was that not the main issue in that debate? Has the Prime Minister found any evidence whatever of any lies told to Parliament on that day?