Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s MP Angus Robertson has described the conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry Report as ‘deeply disturbing’, saying the inquiry report vindicates the vast majority of the huge criticisms made of Tony Blair and the decisions that were taken to go to war in Iraq.

In 2003 the local MP joined tens of thousands of demonstrators in Glasgow, including Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead, and hundreds of other Moray residents who travelled down to protest against going to war in Iraq.

Sir John Chilcot's Iraq War inquiry report has been published after seven years and has reached the following major conclusions:

  1. The UK joined the Iraq invasion "before peaceful options for disarmament were exhausted" and that military action was "not a last resort"

  2. The invasion of Iraq was based on “flawed intelligence and assessments”

  3. The threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "presented with certainty that was not justified"

  4. The long-term consequences of going to war were underestimated "despite explicit warnings"

  5. Tony Blair had stated to George Bush in relation to the action in Iraq and long before any House of Commons vote that  "I will be with you whatever”

Speaking about the report Angus Robertson MP said:

“Going to war in Iraq has been the UK's most shameful foreign policy action in decades and it has left an indelible stain on Britain's standing in the world.

“In 2003 I joined hundreds of others from Moray alone to take part in the largest co-ordinated demonstrations the world has ever seen with estimates of over 2 million people marching against the war here in the UK.

“Back in 2003 I heard from hundreds of constituents who were deeply concerned by the plan to go to war in Iraq and I have received similar correspondence in relation to the current conflict in Syria.

“It is no great surprise that conflict issues continue to form a major part of my Moray Constituency mailbag as the UK Government seems to be incapable of learning lessons from past mistakes.

“The concerns I had then about the reasons for going to war and the lack of planning have been borne out. These are concerns I have stated consistently in relation to other conflicts.

“The lack of planning in Iraq both during and post conflict has resulted in a needless loss of lives - hundreds of UK military personnel have paid with their lives, with the pain and suffering for their families and hundreds of thousands of civilians have paid with their lives in Iraq. There has been an equal lack of planning in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.

“The Chilcot Report is a catalogue of failure and neglect of the duties of government, and is a clear indictment of Tony Blair’s decision to drag the country into a deeply unpopular and devastating war. It is clear that there now has to be some form of accountability for those identified in the Report.”