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Report of the Iraq Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:51 pm on 6th July 2016.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:51 pm, 6th July 2016

I well remember that when I was on the Opposition Benches and the right hon. Lady was on the Government Benches, she made very powerful speeches about the appalling things that Saddam Hussein did to his own people and the practices in that country, which is a fair point. I also think that when the case was made, people were acting on the knowledge in front of them. It was not just about weapons of mass destruction; there was a sense that we were trying to uphold the position of the United Nations, and the massive danger that Saddam Hussein posed to the region and to his own people. However, those of us who voted for the war must be frank that the consequences of what followed have been truly very poor. That is what Sir John finds, in the section of his report in which he writes about the Government’s objectives not being met, and he states that far from dealing with the problem of regimes potentially linking up with terrorists, which Tony Blair talked about from this Dispatch Box, this action ended up creating a space for al-Qaeda. We must learn all those lessons, including the more painful ones.