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Last Updated: Monday, 20 September, 2004, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Lib Dems urge Blair's impeachment
Hannah Goff
BBC News Online Politics Staff in Bournemouth

Calls for Tony Blair to be impeached over his decision to take the country to war with Iraq have been heard by the Liberal Democrat Party conference.

During a debate on the Butler Report, Donnachadh McCarthy from the Camberwell and Peckham party urged delegates to send a "clear message" to Mr Blair.

"It's now time to for us to provide the leadership for holding the prime minister to account," he said.

Jenny Tonge
Jenny Tonge said she would back moves to impeach Tony Blair

Richmond MP Jenny Tonge said the war had "endangered our children".

Mr McCarthy's call came during a debate on the Butler Report.

He told his peers it was "long past the time for pussy-footing".

The impeachment call came as delegates debated an amendment to a motion demanding: a review of intelligence services; for strong boundaries to be drawn between intelligent assessments and their political interpretation; and for Parliament took a bigger role overseeing intelligence services.

The policy motion also urged the prime minister and senior ministers to consider their position in the light of resignations at the top of the BBC.

Tony Blair misled this country into going to war... I am angry, angry to the point of I don't know what
Jenny Tonge, MP

But Mr McCarthy argued it did not go far enough and that a clear line should be given to the parliamentary party.

He said: "Tony Blair lied to the British people. Tony Blair authorised an illegal war. Tony Blair is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent Iraqi men and women.

Children's security

"Tony Blair betrayed our troops... there were no weapons of mass destruction," he said to cheers.

"Surely in the light of (UN secretary general) Kofi Annan's statement (that the war was illegal) it is time for Blair to go."

Richmond Park MP Jenny Tonge backed the amendment, not because she believed it had "cat in hell's chance" of succeeding, but because it gave more opportunity for debate.

"Tony Blair misled this country into going to war... I am angry, angry to the point of I don't know what," she said, showing clear emotion.

"He has endangered our security and the security of our children," she added.

"In the meantime, he should do the honourable thing and resign".

'In the name of God go'

Philip Goldenberg from the Woking party said President Bush's "unfinished family business" had caused "catastrophic damage" to the prospects of "facing down terrorism".

Pointing to his leader's comparison of the Iraq war with the Suez crisis, he said at least Anthony Eden had done the decent thing and resigned.

And using Oliver Cromwell's words, he told the prime minister "...in the name of God go."

The line asking the prime minister to compare his position with the BBC bosses who had resigned after the Hutton report was deleted, but the rest of the motion was agreed.





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