Speech of the debate
There were some pretty dire speeches on both sides in last night's debate on Iraq.
However, one that deserves praise was Wrexham Labour MP Ian Lucas' contribution.
Ian voted against the war in 2003 and was one of the signatories of the letter in September calling on Blair to stand down. But last night he made a really well argued case for voting against the Plaid/SNP motion.
Describing his vote against the war, he said "On that day, I had already made my decision. I remember coming to the debate and hearing what the Prime Minister had to say. He made his case very eloquently and powerfully. However, I had already met him to discuss the position. I met him eyeball to eyeball and asked him about weapons of mass destruction. I take the view, as I always have, that his honest belief was that those weapons existed in Iraq. I resent the constant assertions by Opposition Members that the Prime Minister in some way misled the House. I do not believe that he did; I believe that he made an honest and genuine mistake. I still believe that it was a mistake—I wish that the decision had never been made—but I cannot support the opportunistic, cynical motion that is before the House today."
And speaking about the current situation in Iraq he said:
"Opposition Members are using the motion to obsess about the past at a time when Iraq is in a position of crisis. Last week, many of my colleagues and I heard the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Barham Salih, address members of the parliamentary Labour party. I am sure that he addressed Opposition Members too. He said that he needs our help and that we must not “cut and run”. I opposed the war in Iraq because I believed that it was wrong, but I believe that we have a moral obligation to support the people of Iraq. We created the difficulty in Iraq and we cannot leave until that position is resolved."
Ian's contribution was honest and thoughtful and considered - unlike the chicanery from the Tories or the hot air and bluster from the Nats.
You can read it all here.