Blair facing Iraq debate defeat tonight

THE Government could be defeated in the Commons tonight if the Tories back a Nationalists' motion calling for another inquiry into the Iraq conflict.David Cameron is threatening to vote for an immediate inquiry into the handling of the war and its aftermath if ministers refuse his demands for one at a later date.

By Graham Dines

THE Government could be defeated in the Commons tonight if the Tories back a Nationalists' motion calling for another inquiry into the Iraq conflict.

David Cameron is threatening to vote for an immediate inquiry into the handling of the war and its aftermath if ministers refuse his demands for one at a later date.

With around 30 anti-war Labour MPs set to rebel, Tory support for the joint SNP and Plaid Cymru motion could be enough to defeat the Government.


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The Tories have tabled an amendment calling for an inquiry along the lines of the Franks Report into the Falklands War at an “appropriate time”' within the next year.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman has indicated that Tony Blair will oppose any inquiry held while British soldiers were still on the ground in Iraq, claiming it would undermine British troops and send a signal of weakness to militants.

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But Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague used an interview on Radio 4 today to rubbish the concerns. “Debates took place in the House of Commons about military events at the height of the First and Second World Wars. People didn't say we mustn't ever debate these things because it might encourage the Germans.”

The debate in the Commons today is the first on the floor of the House since the 2003 invasion.

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