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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 09:47 GMT
Forsyth joins impeach Blair call
Alex Salmond, Corin Redgrave, Jenny Tonge, Adam Price and Frederick Forsyth
MPs were joined by actors and writers supporting their case
Author Frederick Forsyth and actor Corin Redgrave joined MPs to call for Tony Blair's impeachment over Iraq.

Twenty-three MPs have signed a Commons motion calling for the prime minister to be thrown from office.

They say he misled Parliament over the case for invading Iraq and want a probe by MPs to examine his conduct in relation to the war.

But the impeachment bid is widely expected to fail and probably will not even be debated in the Commons.

Downing Street says Tony Blair has already been cleared by four separate inquiries into the pre-war intelligence on Iraq.

'Serious breach'

The last attempted impeachment was of Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston back in 1848.

Of the MPs, 10 are Conservatives, including Boris Johnson and former ministers John Gummer and Douglas Hogg.

MPs from Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats have also signed the motion.

The allegation against the prime minister is that he was guilty of a serious breach of constitutional principles in making the case against Iraq.

The impeachment group says he has destroyed "the fundamental principle of parliamentary democracy" and wants a committee to decide whether there are grounds to impeach him on misconduct charges.

'Rules dismissed'

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price, who started the campaign, also wants a Commons debate on Mr Blair's conduct.

Adam Price
People say politicians do nothing and are all alike but today we make a stand for parliamentary democracy
Adam Price
Plaid Cymru
"We must make a stand or watch the democracy we have fought so often for against foreign enemies be subverted from within," he said.

"The rules of constitutional conduct had been brushed aside.

"People say politicians do nothing and are all alike but today we make a stand for parliamentary democracy."

War powers

Officially the Conservatives and Lib Dems are not supporting the motion.

Donald Anderson, the Labour Swansea East MP and chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, has dismissed the plan as a "no-hoper" and a "political stunt".

In a separate move, the Liberal Democrats are calling for a fresh look at the prime minister's power to take the country to war without a vote of MPs.

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has tabled a House of Commons motion calling for a special select committee to be established to examine the issue.

The government did put the decision to go to war in Iraq to a vote in Parliament, but was under no obligation to do so.




SEE ALSO:
From impeachment to Iraq
25 Sep 04 |  Wales


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