The British government has rejected MPs’ pleas for stronger checks to prevent a repeat of the 2003 invasion of Iraq which occurred on the order of then US President George W. Bush and with the help of then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Last year in March, a Commons committee concluded that it remained “too easy for a prime minister to disregard cabinet procedures” when it came to making decisions of national importance.
That conclusion was in response to the Chilcot report into the Iraq War, which found Blair had excluded senior colleagues from vital judgments and bypassed officials when he told Bush, “I will be with you, whatever.”
Now, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) says it is “disappointed” that the government had rebuffed key demands for greater scrutiny.
“The committee is disappointed with the Government’s response given the clear evidence of the need for improvements to public inquiries and government decision-making that the committee received,” the PACAC said.
“It is particularly concerned about the government’s failure to accept the case for stronger safeguards to ensure proper collective consideration by the Cabinet on decisions of national importance.” A Commons report originally warned that the Iraq War left an “indelible scar on British politics,” noting that for many, “the Chilcot inquiry fails to provide closure on the Iraq issue.”
In addition, it called on MPs to reflect on how Parliament “could have been more critical and challenging of the government at the time,” highlighting the “seriousness” of the case made by Dr. Glen Rangwala, a Cambridge University politics lecturer, that the former prime minister “deliberately misled” the Commons.—Agencies