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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

Let me join the hon. Gentleman, who himself served in our armed forces, in paying tribute to what our armed forces did in Iraq. They should be proud of the work they did; they were acting on behalf of this House of Commons and the Government who took that decision, and they behaved bravely and courageously, and we should remember that—and we should remember those who gave their lives and who were wounded.

On his question about how we share intelligence information with this House, I would just give him two reflections. One is that we have tried: in the case of Libya, and I think in the case of Syria, we tried to publish JIC-like assessments cleared for the House of Commons—and cleared, I might add, by officials rather than Ministers. The second point is to get the Chairman of the JIC to read the statement or speech made by the Prime Minister to make sure it accurately reflects the intelligence information. Those are two things we should try to do. Sometimes time is very short, and sometimes the picture is changing—the intelligence is changing—but those are good things to try to do. But I say again that there is no perfection in all this: we can receive and share as much intelligence as we like, but in the end we have to make a decision and make an argument for that decision, and then defend it if it is right or if it is wrong.