Bush 'voiced disquiet over Mark Thatcher'

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The Independent Online
ALLEGATIONS including a claim that President George Bush voiced disquiet that Mark Thatcher's business activities would compromise the British and US governments are made in a Commons motion published yesterday.

The motion, tabled by three Labour MPs, is based on a sworn affidavit submitted by Tess Lawrence, an Australian journalist, to Lord Justice Scott's inquiry into British arms deals with Iraq.

The motion, signed by Ken Livingstone, Lynne Jones and Jeremy Corbyn, also alleges that British businessmen, including Matrix Churchill personnel, were deliberately used by Iraqi intelligence to feed disinformation to the British and US security services. The motion alleges that, as a consequence, innocent Iraqi civilians were bombed by Allied forces during the Gulf war.

The motion also alleges that after nine British troops were killed by the Americans in a friendly-fire incident, the British and US governments agreed not to press legal action and the families were denied a proper investigation.

Finally, the motion calls for a Home Office inquiry into a burglary at the offices used by the journalist making the allegations, which resulted in the theft of documents allegedly supporting her claims. The motion 'calls on the Prime Minister to investigate allegations made by the journalist that Iraqi intelligence, aware that Matrix Churchill personnel and others fed information to MI6, MI5 and the CIA, arranged for the transmission of selected disinformation.

'A consequence was the bombing of women and children seeking refuge in the Amiriya shelter, Bagdhad, on 13 February 1991, herded there by Hussein's regime in the certain knowledge that the site would be targeted as a military installation by the allies.'

John Major should investigate allegations 'that President Bush was outraged at the bombing since he had instructed his Saudi-based intelligence personnel to downgrade unreliable British intelligence material culled from businessmen'.

He should also investigate claims that 'in communication with these personnel President Bush had also voiced disquiet about Mark Thatcher's business activities which would compromise both the British and American governments'.