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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 Peter Lilley Peter Lilley Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden 12:51 pm, 6th July 2016

Does my right hon. Friend agree that there are lessons for every Member of the House, and every member of the media, regarding how we assess evidence? We can no longer take refuge in the pretence that we did not know the evidence about the non-existence of weapons of mass destruction. The reports states:

“The assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons” or that efforts to developed nuclear weapons continued. That evidence was set out in the dossier, and as I showed in evidence to the Chilcot report, someone who read the dossier line by line could not fail to reach the same conclusion as Robin Cook, which was that there were no weapons of mass destruction. The fact that largely we did not reach that conclusion is because we have ceased to look at evidence and we rely on briefings from spin doctors and those on our Front Benches. If the House is to get a grip on issues in future, it must go back to looking at the evidence, and so should journalists.