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Labour MPs call for new Commons vote on Iraq

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:13 PM
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Labour MPs call for new Commons vote on Iraq
Tony Blair was last night furiously resisting mounting pressure to hold a new Commons vote on Britain's military commitment in Iraq as it was revealed that defence chiefs are privately discussing "strategic failure" in the war.

Ministers are expected to announce next week that up to 4,000 more soldiers will be sent to take control of Najaf, the Shi'ite holy city, and large swathes of central Iraq.

A bullet hole in a shop window in the holy city of Najaf
Labour MPs, including Robin Cook, the former foreign secretary, and some supporters of the war, are insisting, however, that the troops should not be sent without a new mandate from Parliament.

A vote on new deployments would be the first since the crucial Commons debate on March 18 last year, shortly before the war, when 139 Labour MPs voted against sending troops into battle.

Many of those who voted for the Government then have admitted they might have acted differently had they known that intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were inaccurate.

Concern about the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, and anger over the abuse of prisoners by American troops, have heightened opposition to the Prime Minister's support for President George W Bush, adding to the possibility of a substantial rebellion against Mr Blair in a new vote.

Mr Blair, who last night insisted he was "fully focused" on Iraq, has told Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, and other ministers that he is determined to resist calls for a vote because it would set an unwelcome precedent.

Eric Illsley, a Labour member of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, described Mr Blair as "rattled", and added: "His main problem is that he has been kicked in the balls by President Bush."
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Cascadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:22 PM
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1. Blair gone by September perhaps?
Edited on Sat May-15-04 07:30 PM by Cascadian
Who would replace him though? Labour is going to have work hard to bring respectability back to their party after Blair was playing Tory-lite. I hope the left wing of the party comes back. Democrats watch and learn.

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:15 PM
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2. This could bring down the government
if immediately followed up by a Vote of Non-confidence.

Unless it was declared a "free vote", it in itself might be enough.
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