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SNP / Plaid Cymru write to Blair over Butler Inquiry
"Contains Labour MP who helped draft dossier" At a joint Scottish National Party / Plaid Cymru-Party of Wales Lobby Briefing today [Wednesday], the Scottish National Party’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mr Angus Robertson MP, and Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr Mr Adam Price MP, released the text of a
Jacques-Yves Le Touze pour SNP - Plaid Cymru le 5/02/04 19:05

"Contains Labour MP who helped draft dossier" At a joint Scottish National Party / Plaid Cymru-Party of Wales Lobby Briefing today [Wednesday], the Scottish National Party’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mr Angus Robertson MP, and Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr Mr Adam Price MP, released the text of a letter to the Prime Minister, pointing out that Ann Taylor’s membership of the Butler Inquiry leaves it lacking credibility. The Inquiry is charged with investigating, “the accuracy of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction up to March 2003, and to examine any discrepancies between the intelligence gathered, evaluated and used by the Government before the conflict . .” Yet Government e-mails released to the Hutton Inquiry revealed that Ann Taylor – as chair of the Intelligence & Security Committee – was sent a draft of the September 2002 dossier for her comments, on the instruction of the Prime Minister, and “passed on some detailed comments”, which were “helpful” in assisting Mr Blair to “undercut critics” of the war. In other words, she will be investigating the process of assembling information that she was directly involved in – a clear conflict of interest. An e-mail of 18 September 2002 said that: “The PM has asked Ann Taylor to read through the dossier in draft and give us any comments. He stressed that it was for her only and that no-one else outside the building was seeing it in draft.” An e-mail of 19 September said that: “Ann Taylor read the draft dossier this morning and passed on some detailed comments to John Scarlett.” In their letter, Mr Robertson and Mr Price say: “The remit, status and membership of the Butler Inquiry lack credibility, and we writing on behalf of the SNP/Plaid Cymru Group to call for an independent public inquiry into the Government’s decision to go to war. “The Inquiry’s remit must be expanded to include the political decision-making process, and why the Government went to war under false pretences about weapons of mass destruction. “And it is invidious for a member of the Inquiry, Ann Taylor, to investigate how bogus intelligence material came to be assembled, when she was part of that very process. That is a clear conflict of interest, which renders the Inquiry incredible. “We know from evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry that, on your instructions, Ms Taylor was given a draft of the September 2002 dossier for comment, and that she “passed on some detailed comments to John Scarlett” on 19 September 2002, which were “helpful” in assisting you to “undercut critics” of the war. “The Butler Inquiry has no credibility on this basis. What is required is a genuinely independent inquiry into the full circumstances of the Government’s decision to go to war, and how the country came to be misled about weapons of mass destruction.” photo : Angus Robertson , SNP .

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