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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:35 pm on 26th February 2003.

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Photo of Mr Michael Portillo Mr Michael Portillo Conservative, Kensington and Chelsea 2:35 pm, 26th February 2003

The hon. Lady should have waited for my next paragraph.

In parallel, the west was failing to respond to the escalation of activities by Saddam. He failed to co-operate with United Nations inspectors immediately after the Gulf war. There were further atrocities against his people and violations of the no-fly zone. He harassed the inspectors until they were forced to leave. The west again made no adequate response to any of those things. If there is a criticism of the Prime Minister, it is that he, in common with others, did not seek to take effective action in 1998 and 1999, but that does not make him wrong today.