Scottish Executive (Honesty and Integrity)

First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:10 pm on 26th June 2003.

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Photo of Tommy Sheridan Tommy Sheridan SSP 3:10 pm, 26th June 2003

To ask the First Minister how the Scottish Executive enforces honesty and integrity amongst its members. (S2F-131)

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

The standards expected of Scottish Executive ministers are contained in the Scottish ministerial code.

Photo of Tommy Sheridan Tommy Sheridan SSP

On 13 March, the First Minister stood in the chamber and argued for us to support Blair and Bush over Iraq. Does he now accept that he was wrong to support the Prime Minister and that the Prime Minister was guilty of deceiving Westminster, the First Minister and the people of Scotland?

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

No, I do not. I can only assume from Mr Sheridan's comments that he would prefer that Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq. He is wrong to take that view.

Photo of Tommy Sheridan Tommy Sheridan SSP

On 13 March, the First Minister said that

"action should be authorised by the United Nations" and that the Iraqi regime should

"give up its weapons of mass destruction."—[Official Report, 13 March 2003; c 19434-35.]

Given that Blair and Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq without authorisation from the United Nations and that no weapons of mass destruction have been found, does he now admit and apologise to the people of Scotland that he misled them in supporting the illegal invasion of Iraq?

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

I and many others are on record at the time regretting the fact that there was no United Nations decision to act, but that does not make the success of the action any less good for the people of Iraq. They needed a change of regime; they now have that change of regime and they should be supported in rebuilding their country.