Iraq inquiry move defeated

THE Government last night survived a vote in the House of Commons calling for an inquiry into the Iraq war by 25 votes.A motion seeking the investigation from Plaid Cymru and the SNP, backed by the Conservatives and 12 Labour rebels, was lost 298 to 273.

By Graham Dines

THE Government last night survived a vote in the House of Commons calling for an inquiry into the Iraq war by 25 votes.

A motion seeking the investigation from Plaid Cymru and the SNP, backed by the Conservatives and 12 Labour rebels, was lost 298 to 273.

And today, Tony Blair told MPs he would not rule out an inquiry into the Iraq war, but "this is not the time" to make the decision.


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Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell asked him to clarify his position, after Defence Secretary Des Browen appeared to confirm there would be an inquiry "when the time is right," although a Government source said it was a slip of the tongue.

Sir Menzies said it had been a hollow victory for the the Government which "was on the defensive throughout".

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"Ministers were unconvincing and their backbenchers unconvinced. There is deep unease about Iraq in the House of Commons, which the Prime Minister ignores at his peril."

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