Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Iraq war inquiry snub to families in Wales

Plaid Cymru has spoken out against the latest developments in the UK Government’s Iraq Inquiry, which excludes Wales and the role of Welsh servicemen and women by omitting them from the key stages of the process.

The Iraq inquiry headed up by Sir John Chilcott, which was launched on 15 June 2009, has been taking evidence from families and service personnel.

Representatives of the inquiry visited cities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but Wales has been completely left off the radar.

Plaid's North Wales AM Janet Ryder said:
 "Fourteen Welsh servicemen, including four from North Wales, died in the war in Iraq. That's one in 11 of all UK fatalities in the conflict. Their families are being denied the opportunity to contribute to the inquiry and I'm sure several of the many injured during the conflict would want to have their say too.
"As is the case with many ex-servicemen abandoned to their fate once their fighting days are over, it seems the establishment is bypassing us with this inquiry. Given the contribution Welsh personnel make to the British Armed Forces - way beyond its actual population - it's important that families and others can contribute to this important inquiry. Plaid has consistenly opposed the illegal war in Iraq and this inquiry has to ensure that mistakes made then are never made again."
She backed calls by Plaid Cymru MPs for the investigation to be more specific by splitting the inquiry in two, with one arm to look at the reasons why a decision was made to go to war, and another to investigate actions during the war.

Plaid’s Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd MP said:

“Yet again Wales is barely an afterthought. Large numbers of Welsh soldiers were sent to Iraq to fight an illegal war and now the Government is showing little respect to them, their fallen colleagues or their families by leaving Wales out of such an important inquiry.
“We will never get to the truth if short cuts are taken and evidence still allowed to be gathered in secret. This must be a full and transparent inquiry.
“Brown has already managed to call the inquiry into disrepute over his original decision to hold the inquiry in private. He has since bowed to pressure allowing some consultations to be discussed in public, although still information will be withheld and there is no guarantee what will happen once the report is released.
“Typically, Labour will try and water down the report by releasing it in Spring when chances are it will be buried under the General Election. We must have full scrutiny over this issue.
“We need a debate and a vote in Parliament after the report is published and if the Government’s report raises doubts as to the legality of the Iraq war, then Plaid will call on the Government to submit itself to the judicial scrutiny of the International Court of Justice."


  1. But the enquiry is just a whitewash anyway,why bother partaking in a farce

  2. How can we attribute any intelligence to Ryder when she supported a badger cull in Wales.
    If she hasn't the common sense to intepret the scientific evidence that proves quite conclusively that TB is NOT spread by badgers,then how can we trust her on any issue at all.