The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Guardian Unlimited update 4.30pm Father of the house given marching orders Matthew Tempest, political correspondent Monday February 10, 2003 The most senior member of the House of Commons was ordered out of the chamber today for repeatedly accusing the government of misleading parliament and the public over Downing Street's latest "dossier" on Iraqi weapons. In a moment of high drama, Tam Dalyell, the father of the house, refused more than 10 instructions from the Speaker to sit down, while he accused the prime minister of deception for "plagiarising an out-of-date Californian PhD and representing it as an intelligence service report". As MPs from both sides of the house queued up to criticise the Speaker, Michael Martin, for not allowing an emergency debate on the issue, Mr Dalyell was forced to withdraw from the chamber. Meanwhile the prime minister was accused outright of "misleading" parliament by one of his own backbenchers, Glenda Jackson, and by the Conservative Peter Lilley. Conservative Douglas Hogg, Labour backbencher Paul Flynn and Liberal Democrat Paul Tyler also joined the attacks on the government document - and the Speaker's refusal to debate the new revelations of plagiarism. Mr Martin, unable to assert his control of the chamber for several tense minutes, insisted that he was "not responsible for utterances by the prime minister or other ministers, or documents placed in the library". Mr Dalyell had originally raised a point of order about Mr Martin's refusal to grant a standing order 24 - or emergency debate - after Channel 4 revealed last week that the Downing Street dossier, entitled Iraq - its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation lifted large parts uncredited from an American student's 12-year-old PhD thesis available on the internet. Mr Dalyell, the longest serving MP in the Commons, refused to be overuled by the Speaker, saying: "This matter dwarfs etiquette. Parliament and the British people have been deceived on a matter of peace and war." Mr Martin warned him he was "treading on dangerous ground" by refusing to back down, before asking him to withdraw from the chamber. But former Tory cabinet minister Peter Lilley also said the house had been "misled" - usually a resignation offence. --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.449 / Virus Database: 251 - Release Date: 27/01/2003 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk