Iraq — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:50 pm on 18th December 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office) 2:50 pm, 18th December 2008

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Earl for raising the fact that the TA has been and is in Iraq. We should all remember that the Territorial Army does a very fine job, working on its own account but also supporting our regular troops wherever they are.

It was interesting to hear the noble Earl agree with my noble friend about the remit of an inquiry. I do not know whether other noble Lords saw some soldiers being asked on "Newsnight" the other night about their view of relations in Iraq, where they had been serving. They said that they left the politics of the situation to the politicians, but that they were fiercely proud to have done a good job in Iraq. I thought, "Chapeaux!".

We always do what our senior military personnel say we have the capacity to do. We do not overwork our capacity. I can assure the noble Earl that there will not be a straight switch of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

We of course train our troops for specific wars, but we also train them for war in general.