Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Cambridge MP tells Government not to attack Iraq

MP Julian Huppert has welcomed Foreign Secretary William Hague’s statement that he was not planning military intervention in Iraq but warned that he and many others would be keeping track to make sure there was no U-turn.

Julian had been one of one million people marching against the last war who were “ignored by the government of the time”, he reminded Mr Hague.

And he challenged the Minister over what steps he was taking to make sure Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki does not use the emerging crisis to extend his powers inappropriately.

Mr Hague told Julian in the Commons yesterday (Monday, June 16): “Inclusive politics and a more inclusive political leadership in Iraq would not involve the abuse of power by the Prime Minister of the day, and it would have to include some degree of people not only working together in government but genuinely sharing power. Otherwise it would not work.

“It would be built into a broader political unity in Iraq that Sunnis and Kurds would be well consulted and have leadership positions in the political process, but it would be up to them to determine the details of that.”

Julian’s intervention has been welcomed by Cambridge Stop the War activist, James Youd.

He said: “I am glad that at a time when the media attention seems to be focused on when western forces will intervene in the Iraq. Julian is asking those questions that lie at the route of the current crisis, namely the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent sectarian behaviour of the Maliki led government which ensues. His opposition to the Iraq war and subsequent interventions allows him to do so in a principled manner."

Julian said later: “We have all heard the Foreign Secretary tell the country he is not planning to send the military into Iraq and I want to make sure the government stands by that.

“We have been dragged into a war in Iraq we didn’t want once before. I will do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

The full transcript of Julian’s question and the answer is as follows:

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (LD): I was one of the 1 million who marched against the war in Iraq, although we were ignored by the Government of the time. I very much welcome the Foreign Secretary’s comment that he is not planning military intervention by the UK. I and many others will keep track of what happens in that regard. What steps will he take to ensure that Prime Minister Maliki does not use this crisis to try to extend his executive power in inappropriate ways?

Mr Hague: Inclusive politics and a more inclusive political leadership in Iraq would not involve the abuse of power by the Prime Minister of the day, and it would have to include some degree of people not only working together in government but genuinely sharing power. Otherwise, it would not work. It would be built into a broader political unity in Iraq that Sunnis and Kurds would be well consulted and have leadership positions in the political process, but it would be up to them to determine the details of that.