[QODLink]
Archive
Ex-UK minister wants Iraq war probe
Former British cabinet minister Clare Short is demanding a parliamentary investigation into Attorney General Peter Goldsmith's advice on war with Iraq.
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2005 08:26 GMT
Clare Short wants the House of Lords to set up a committee
Former British cabinet minister Clare Short is demanding a parliamentary investigation into Attorney General Peter Goldsmith's advice on war with Iraq.

Short said on Thursday night that Lord Goldsmith breached the ministerial code by submitting a summary of his advice to senior ministers.

Two of Prime Minister Tony Blair's key allies were involved in drafting a ministerial answer issued in the peer's name, according to a leak published in the Guardian newspaper.

Short said it was this that had earlier been shown to the cabinet as it contemplated military action. Britain joined the US-led invasion of Iraq on 20 March, 2003.

"It says in the ministerial code that if any advice from the law officers is summarised when it comes to Cabinet the full advice should be attached," she told BBC Radio.

"My view is we need the House of Lords to set up a special committee, summon the attorney, get all the papers out, look at exactly what happened," Short said.

Verdict 'set out'

Goldsmith apparently told an official inquiry the verdict presented to Parliament in his name was "set out" by Blair's ex-flatmate Lord Charles Falconer and top aide Baroness Morgan.

Britain joined the US-led invasion
of Iraq on 20 March, 2003

Transcripts of private evidence the peer gave to Lord Butler's investigation into the use of intelligence in the run-up to war were produced by the Guardian.

The attorney general warned Blair less than two weeks before the invasion that military action could be deemed illegal, according to previous reports.

However, he then met Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, then a Home Office minister, and the prime minister's director of political relations in 10 Downing Street on 13 March.

'Nonsense'

Goldsmith reportedly told Butler "they shortly set out my view" in the parliamentary statement on 17 March.

Short, the former international development secretary, who initially pledged not to back war without a second United Nations resolution, said she was initially suspicious but was won over.

Goldsmith denied the Guardian report late on Wednesday, calling it "nonsense" to say that his legal opinion was written by Downing Street insiders.

Blair's official spokesman said he would not comment on leaks.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.