Reacting to the publication of the Chilcot Report, Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:
The Green Party believes the report’s final confirmation that the Iraq war was ‘not a last resort’ and that the British government decided to invade before all the peaceful options had been exhausted is a verdict that must produce action. We must not just say ‘never again’ but act to make that fact.
That the judgements about the severity of threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were presented with a certainty that was not justified is simply inexcusable. Never again must the executive be able to lead us to war based on massaged information.
And never again should MPs be told how to vote on such a critical matter. The Government should, immediately, announce that all future military interventions will have unwhipped votes in the House of Commons. We must never again see MPs being cajoled into voting along party lines when their conscience tells them otherwise. No MP should answer when asked why they voted for war ‘I was told to.’
Those MPs must be given genuinely independent legal advice about the legality of the action. They must know it is their responsibility to act legally, and that they could face sanction if they don’t live up to it.
Speaking from Westminster, Shahrar Ali, Green Party Deputy Leader, said:
The Green Party is resolutely committed to finding non-violent solutions to conflict situations and unequivocally opposed the war in 2003.
The headline points of this mammoth report are chilling, yet unsurprising to all those who have been calling for Blair to be investigated at the International Criminal Court. Whether on grounds of Blair’s intent to bypass the UN, diplomacy not having been exhausted, or critical papers being denied to the Foreign Office, I support those renewed calls for a criminal investigation.