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Thursday, January 14, 1999 Published at 13:09 GMT

UK Politics

Dalyell bid for democratic airstrikes

Parliament would have to agree to air strikes under the bill

A Labour backbencher is hoping to prevent the government taking military action against Iraq without Parliament's approval.

Tam Dalyell, MP for Linlithgow, will introduce a 10-minute rule bill in the Commons, which would ban new air strikes unless they were first backed by two-thirds of MPs.

The bill has no chance of becoming law, but Mr Dalyell said he wanted to force the government to listen to the views of those who opposed military action.

[ image: Tam Dalyell: Air strikes were
Tam Dalyell: Air strikes were "nauseating"
During the Commons debate on the bombing of Iraq on 17 December, the day after the first air strikes, Mr Dalyell said he found the bombing "nauseating" and was ashamed it was endorsed by a Labour government.

The 10-minute rule bill is expected to be the first of the new year when it is introduced on 26 January.

Mr Dalyell said his bill intended to "bring home to the government that they have no moral right to launch the British part of an Anglo-American strike and then come to the House of Commons a day later to inform Parliament".

He said: "They should have allowed a full day of parliamentary discussion before we went to war.

"If that had happened, and they had been prepared to listen, it might have stopped them indulging in this latest fiasco which has achieved absolutely nothing."

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