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Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats slam government secrecy

February 25, 2009 9:45 AM

A leading Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrat has slammed the government for refusing to publish Cabinet minutes relating to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Michael Mullaney Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for Bosworth said:"The decision to go to war in Iraq was momentous, controversial and disastrous, especially for this country's reputation as an upholder of international law.

"There never has been a full and comprehensive public inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq. The government must now give their support for such an inquiry. We need to learn the lessons, and we need to learn them as quickly as possible. That is why these Cabinet minutes should be released much earlier than would normally be the case.

"We already know the names of the dissenters from their memoirs. All we need to know is whether there was any discussion and any challenge of any sort. That is a matter of great public importance and goes to the heart of accountability.

"The Justice Secretary Jack Straw must explain why his government has chosen to block the release, rather than appealing to the High Court in the ordinary way. Why is Jack Straw silencing opposition to his position by decree instead of trying to persuade an objective court of its strength? This shows that, in reality, even he suspects his position to be weak.

"Unfortunately this decision has more to do with preventing embarrassment than protecting the system of government. People in Hinckley and Bosworth and the rest of the country deserve better than this".