Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Govt wins vote 299 - 260

Govt defeats Tory motion calling for 'public' Iraq inquiry

Wednesday, 24 Jun 2009 20:04

The government has defeated a Conservative party motion calling for a series of revisions to the forthcoming Iraq war inquiry.

The motion, calling for key evidence to been given in public whenever possible, was eventually defeated by 299 votes to 260 this evening.

Earlier, Gordon Brown's spokesman said the prime minister would be wiling to give evidence in public if required.

During the Opposition Day debate this afternoon, foreign secretary David Miliband went as far as saying the inquiry would be able to abortion blame to whoever it liked.

"It can praise or blame whoever it likes, it is free to write its own report at every stage," he said.

Mr Brown had already made a series of concessions following the initial announcement that the inquiry would be held in private.

The inquiry's chairman Sir John Chilcot has continued to back calls for transparency with Mr Brown and former prime minister Tony Blair now seemingly likely to give their evidence in public.

A number of leading military and political figures, including members of the government, have backed the calls to open the vast majority of the inquiry up to public scrutiny.

Mr Brown though has denied reversing his position, claiming it required a balancing act between exposing the truth and protecting national security.

Sir John met with political leaders yesterday in a bid to arrive at an agreed position in progressing with the eagerly awaited inquiry.$1306362.htm


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