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Anti-war MPs question Butler`s credibility to chair Iraq inquiry

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Feb 4, IRNA -- A group of anti-war Labour MPs have expressed 
objections to Prime Minister Tony Blair`s decision to appoint former 
Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler to head the new inquiry into the failure
to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 
In an Early Day Motion to parliament, the MPs, including former 
defence minister Peter Kilfoyle, criticised Butler`s record during 
the Scott inquiry into the arms-for-Iraq scandal during the 1990s as 
undermining "his credibility as a fair and impartial chairman." 
"You have to be selective about the facts," it quoted the former 
head of the civil service saying in defending ministers for giving 
less than complete parliamentary answers. 
"It was an accurate but incomplete answer. The purpose of it was 
to give an answer which itself was true. It did not give the full 
picture. It was half an answer," he was further cited saying. 
"This attitude shown by Lord Butler towards the importance of the 
provision of proper accurate information to Parliament undermines his 
credibility as a fair and impartial chairman for the Weapons of Mass 
Destruction Intelligence Inquiry," the group of 11 MPs said. 
The British press Wednesday also referred to the former Cabinet 
Secretary choosing to defend former Defence Minister Jonathan Aitken 
before he went to prison for committing perjury. 
The latest inquiry into the quality of British intelligence is the
fourth is be called by Blair since the Iraq war, but it is also being 
opposed by the Liberal Democrats, who have complained that it still 
does not go far enough in examining the reasons for going to war. 

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