Petition to hold Blair to account over Iraq reaches milestone

Nathanael Williams

Group of cross party MPs inch closer to parliamentary punishment for Blair

A PARLIAMENTARY petition which calls on the House of Commons to hold former Prime Minister Tony Blair to account for misleading statements he made in the run up to the war in Iraq passed its first milestone today, meaning it the UK Government is obliged by law to make an official reply.

The petition, which has now gathered more than 10,000 signatures, has the backing of a cross party group of MPs, including David Davis and Alex Salmond, who, as reported by CommonSpace had been looking for avenues to hold the former prime minister to account.

It also comes within the context of the publication of the Chilcot Report in to the 2003 war in Iraq, which found Blair’s legal case for the war ‘far from satisfactory’ and his consulting of parliament non-sufficient. 

The petition states: "The Chilcot Report has presented a range of evidence that demonstrates that Parliament and the country were misled by Tony Blair in the run up to the war in Iraq. Parliament should now agree a process by which it can hold the former Prime Minister to account."

Click here to refresh your mind about the findings of the Chilcot Report

SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, one of the cross-party group which has also backed a call for parliament to vote on a motion of contempt relating to Tony Blair’s conduct, said: "This is a significant milestone for this parliamentary petition. Now it has received 10,000 signatories the UK Government is required to make a formal response on the issue.
"The next step is to press for one hundred thousand supporters, which would lead to a parliamentary debate on the topic.
"In the meantime, I’ll continue to work with MPs from across the House of Commons who want to see parliament act to address this serious issue. If we are to retain the public's confidence in Parliament, we must hold Tony Blair to account for the misleading statements he made in the run up to the war in Iraq.

"I’d now encourage everyone who believes that parliament was misled to lend your support to this cross-party campaign by joining me in signing this petition today."

It has now received over 10,000 signatories and, as a result, the UK Government is obliged by law to make an official reply.

Today on CommonSpace, in an interview in collaboration with Novara Media, Alex Salmond reaffirmed his belief in the importance of politicians being held to account for decisions especially relating to war.

In the interview with Liam O’Hare, he said: "Any parliament worth its salt should do something about it, and this parliament should."

Picture courtesy Eddie Coyote

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.