Government majority slashed in revolt
Wednesday 24 June 2009
The Government's majority was slashed nearly in half to 39 tonight as ministers saw off a backbench revolt over the arrangements for an Iraq inquiry.
A Tory motion demanding a re-think and a vote for MPs on the inquiry's terms of reference was rejected by 299 to 260.
But the impassioned six-hour debate generated much anger and criticism from the Labour backbenchers of Gordon Brown's handling of the affair.
One, John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington), even urged him to admit the "game's up," withdraw the Government's plans and seek consensus with the other parties.
Mr Brown last week abandoned plans for a behind-closed-doors probe by Sir John Chilcot after they were met with scorn and derision by a stream of senior political and military figures.
Today, Foreign Secretary David Miliband offered a further concession by indicating it will be able to apportion blame.
Mr Miliband told the Commons the inquiry, which will be chaired by Sir John Chilcot, could "praise or blame whoever it likes".
In an indication of the controversy likely to be generated by the inquiry, senior Tory Michael Mates said he had seen papers circulating between ministers that would make people's "eyes water".
Mr Mates (Hampshire E), who sat on the Butler review of intelligence failings in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, implied that some of the legal advice given by the then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith to former Prime Minister Tony Blair was not shown to the Cabinet.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...