Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 8th July 2003.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary 11:30 am, 8th July 2003

My hon. Friend Mr. Skinner asks a pertinent question. [Interruption.] I shall answer the question of Mr. Duncan, but, after languishing for 18 years in opposition, I shall also offer the Opposition gratis advice: it would be unwise for them and their reputation if they started to rewrite history, as they are trying to do.

The Iraq survey group has been established and is carrying out its work. Neither my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister nor I can say how long it will take. It will take as long as it takes. However, if the hon. Gentleman has any doubts about whether he made the correct decision on 18 March, I commend to him all 173 pages of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission's last report on unanswered disarmament questions. It sets out in horrifying detail Iraq's failure to answer questions about the whereabouts and capabilities of chemical and biological weapons. That was the truth, and the document, from an entirely independent source, was one of the main considerations in the minds of hon. Members when they carried the vote with a large majority on 18 March.